Israel backs new West Bank homes

Israel has approved the construction of 3,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements, an Israeli official says.

Israel has approved the construction of 3,000 new housing units in West Bank settlements, an Israeli official says.

The announcement comes a day after the United Nations recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state.

The Palestinians say UN recognition of a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem will help resume moribund Middle East peace talks.

Peace negotiations have been frozen for the past four years as the Palestinians have refused to negotiate while Israeli settlement construction continued.

Israel fiercely denounced the UN bid. It says peace can only come from direct negotiations and not unilateral moves.

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