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Israel's Security Cabinet Approves More Building Permits for Palestinians - Report

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Photo, AP

JERUSALEM, Israel - Israel's security cabinet approved building permits for 700 new Palestinian homes in Area C of the West Bank, Israel's Kan public broadcaster reported Tuesday evening.  

However, the projects will likely need to be approved by the Civil Administration, The Jerusalem Post reports. 

Tuesday's news follows a Kan report that  Netanyahu's security cabinet held discussions about the move on Sunday and Monday. 

The Prime Minister's office has yet to comment on the report. 

Israel rarely issues building permits to Palestinians in Area C.

According to the Oslo Accords, Israel has complete military and administrative control of Area C, which makes up about 60 percent of the West Bank. 

Netanyahu's push to approve more building permits for Palestinians is highly criticized by leaders of Israeli settler communities and conservative lawmakers. 

Responding to the Kan report, Yesha settlement council chairman Hananel Dorani said that "instead of fighting against the Palestinian Authority's takeover of Area C and destroying the illegal construction that is rampant there, the prime minister is raising the possibility of surrendering to the phenomenon and approving the illegal construction, and perhaps even approving further construction. We fully oppose this and call on the ministers of the security cabinet to oppose this proposal."

The Jerusalem Post reports that Ofir Sofer of Israel's United Right party accused Netanyahu of allowing the Palestinian Authority to take over Area C. Sofer also urged Israelis to vote for the United Right instead of Netanyahu's Likud party during the September 17 elections. 

"We need to be as strong as possible," Sofer said.

The last time a plan was introduced to grant building permits to Palestinians was in 2017. The measure was highly criticized and the security cabinet froze it indefinitely. 

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