FILE PHOTO- An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man walks past buildings under construction in the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, in the occupied West Bank December 22, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/File photo

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel will approve construction of hundreds of new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday.
Settlements are one of the most heated issues in efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, frozen since 2014.
Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Most countries consider as illegal the Israeli settlements built in the territory which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Israel disputes that its settlements are illegal and says their future should be determined in peace talks with the Palestinians.
Israeli authorities were due to approve on Wednesday the construction of 1,285 housing units to be built in 2018 and advance planning for 2,500 others in about 20 different settlements, Lieberman said in a statement.
There was no immediate comment from the Palestinian officials. The Palestinians …
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