Palestinian laborers work at a construction site in the Israeli settlement of Efrat situated on the southern outskirts of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on February 1, 2016. (AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)
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Israel has approved plans for more than 200 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, adding to a sharp increase in settlement projects so far this year, Israeli campaigners said Thursday.The new units were also reported by Israeli newspapers.The United States and the European Union, among others, have strongly criticized Israeli settlement construction.According to Peace Now and Israeli media, the new plans call for additional homes in a range of settlements.Around 2.8 million Palestinians live in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem in near constant tension with more than 500,000 Israeli settlers.The Palestinians are discussing a U.N. draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Abbas's two-week tour will end in New York.A wave of violence that erupted in October has killed 201 Palestinians and 28 Israelis.
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