Skip to main content

Israel advances plans for 800 new settlement homes in West Bank

The news comes ahead of Israel's March 23 election as well as the inauguration of US President-elect Joe Biden on Jan. 20.

The Israeli government advanced on Monday construction of new settlements in the West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the green light to the building plans for 800 new homes, Reuters reported. The settlements are located throughout the West Bank, including in Itamar near Nablus and Beit El north of Jerusalem. Netanyahu said the settlements would receive final approval from the Defense Ministry next week, according to The Times of Israel.

Hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers live throughout the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority and much of the international community regard the settlements as illegal. Israel disputes this, however, and the United States also no longer considers the settlements illegal.

The news comes at an important time in both Israeli and American politics. Advancing the construction could help Netanyahu shore up support among Jewish nationalist voters ahead of Israel’s March 23 election.

The construction could also complicate President-elect Joe Biden’s policy after he takes office on Jan. 20. Former President Barack Obama, under whom Biden served as vice president, was critical of Israeli settlement construction. Biden has selected several Obama-era officials to serve in his Cabinet. During the election, Biden criticized Netanyahu for not being committed to peace, further indicating he will conduct a similar foreign policy to that of his former boss.

The Trump administration changed US policy on the settlements when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared them “not per se inconsistent with international law” in 2019. Last November, Pompeo became the first US secretary of state to visit an Israeli settlement when he went to Psagot. Also in November, Pompeo’s State Department reversed US policy on the labeling of goods made in Israeli West Bank settlements, declaring that they must be labeled “Made in Israel” before being sent to the United States.

This is not the first time Israel has approved new construction late in US President Donald Trump’s tenure. Days after Biden’s victory in the November election, the Israel Lands Authority invited companies to bid on construction in the disputed east Jerusalem neighborhood Givat Hamatos.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.


The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.


What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial