The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Nation & World

June 13, 2013

Israel moving ahead with new settler housing

(Continued)

JERUSALEM —

Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, an anti-settlement watchdog group, said the new plans included construction of 1,000 homes, and retroactive approval of 200 existing homes. She said construction could begin in about a year.

Bruchin, which currently has 52 apartments, started out as an unauthorized settlement outpost, one of dozens settlers put up since the 1990s with the declared aim of preventing the establishment of a Palestinian state. A year ago, the government began the process of retroactively legalizing Bruchin, said Ofran. Bruchin is to have a total of 550 homes.

In Itamar, the planners retroactively legalized 137 homes built without permits and decided to add another 538, for a total of 675, Ofran said. Itamar also serves as a "mother settlement" for several outposts.

The latest plan exposes the Netanyahu's government's intentions, Ofran said. "While he is saying he is ready for peace and two states, he is acting to prevent it on the ground," she said.

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