Group: Israel pressing on with settlement plans

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Israeli anti-settlement group says the country is pressing forward with plans to build more than 1,000 new apartments in West Bank settlements.

Peace Now says the military has approved construction plans for units in a number of settlements. The move is an intermediate step. Final approval from the government is needed before construction can begin.

The statement Thursday comes a week after Israelis and Palestinians resumed long-frozen peace talks, which will deal with settlements and other issues. Peace Now said the new approval “proves the government’s less than genuine intentions to negotiate seriously.”

The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in 1967. Israel has since built dozens of settlements there that are home to about 560,000 Israelis.

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