JERUSALEM – Israel unveiled plans on Thursday to build more than 600 new homes in Jewish settlements, drawing fresh Palestinian condemnation a day after Israel approved an expansion of its security barrier in the West Bank.

The government published tenders for a series of building projects planned for three West Bank settlements on occupied land in defiance of a U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan that calls for a halt to construction at settlements.

Housing Ministry spokesman Koby Bleich said the tenders were part of “a government policy by which we are to advance and develop communities in Judea and Samaria (biblical names for the West Bank) in accordance with needs and natural growth.”

But Palestinians denounced the move. The international community views all Jewish settlements on occupied territory as illegal. Israel disputes this…


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