- The Washington Times - Monday, November 25, 2013

Israel said Monday it’s going forward with plans to build 800 new homes in disputed West Bank territories, over the objections of Palestinians who claim the land as their own.

The defense ministry said it gave the go-ahead for the housing construction in early November — step one in a long bureaucratic process that could take months to see actual development, The Associated Press reported.

The approval comes at a time when Israeli and Palestinian authorities are meeting in quiet, behind closed doors, to work on a peace agreement. It’s not clear how the announced build will impact the future of those talks, AP said.

But the Palestinians say the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip should belong to them for the creation of a state — and they oppose all Israeli construction on the properties.

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