EU condemns new burst of Israeli settlement approvals

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The European Union is criticizing Israel's advancement of over 2,000 new homes in West Bank settlements.

In a statement Monday, the EU reiterated its longstanding position that all settlement activity on occupied land is illegal and "erodes the viability" of the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The Israeli anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now says Israeli authorities approved various planning stages for the construction of 2,342 new housing units in the occupied West Bank last month.

It says Israel has already pushed forward plans for over 8,300 settlement homes this year — an increase of 50% over all of 2018.

Israel's Foreign Ministry declined comment, and COGAT, the defense body that authorizes settlement construction, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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