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                                        Volume. 11896
Israel unveils plans for 1,800 illegal settler homes
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Settlement99(2).jpgIsrael announced plans on Friday to build more than 1,800 new illegal settler homes in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, settlement watchdog Peace Now said.
 
The housing ministry announced the plans for 1,076 units in annexed east Jerusalem and 801 in the occupied West Bank, Peace Now spokesman Lior Amihai told AFP.
 
The ministry also re-issued tenders for a further 582 units in East Jerusalem that had previously failed to attract bids from contractors.
 
"The housing ministry announced the plans this morning," Amihai said.
 
Meanwhile, Associated Press put the number of the planned homes at 1,400 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. 
 
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, condemned the announcement, saying it undermines the "American efforts aimed at creating a peace track toward a two state solution."
 
The announcement was initially expected earlier in January, but was postponed, apparently to avoid any coinciding with last week's visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry who came in a fresh push to advance the negotiations. Kerry said the building raises questions about Israel's commitment to peace.

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