Israel will build 1,500 settler homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Ramat Shlomo, following Wednesday’s decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Interior Minister Gideon Saar.
Israeli army radio made the announcement on Wednesday, according to Agence France-Presse.
The decision to expand the settlement comes after Israel began freeing 26 long-serving Palestinian prisoners on Wednesday as part of an agreed deal to set free 104 before the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority.
The radio also said that Netanyahu and Saar agreed to push ahead with two other East Jerusalem projects; an archaeological and tourist center just outside the Old City walls and a national park on the slopes of Mount Scopus, AFP reported.
In August, Israel announced plans for more than 2,000 new settler homes in tandem with the first prisoner release, according to AFP.
Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law, and the issue remains one of the most divisive in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.