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Israeli coalition torn over construction in West Bank settlements

The advancement of plans for the construction of hundreds of housing units in West Bank settlements has created a serious rift among Israel’s coalition partners.

For almost a year, the government approved no new construction in the West Bank. But on Oct. 27, the Civil Administration advanced plans for the construction of 3,000 new housing units in the settlements. The decision sparked a crisis both with the US administration and within the coalition.

For decades, construction in the settlements was a red line for leftist Israeli parties and organizations. They argued that it only strengthened the occupation by creating an irreversible situation on the ground. All members of Meretz, led by their three cabinet ministers, have consistently opposed further construction in the territories. With yesterday’s announcement, they are forced to confront a troubling new reality.

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