Ramallah, Oct 23 (IANS): Palestine has condemned the Israeli government's plan to build 3,000 new housing units in the West Bank.
In a statement, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the new units "are an extension to deepening and expanding the settlement that sweeps the West Bank and East Jerusalem and its environs", reports Xinhua news agency.
"The aim of building new units in the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is to separate the Palestinian territories from their Palestinian expansion completely," the statement said.
It accused the Israeli government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of trying to cover up its expansion of settlement in the Palestinian territories.
"What Israel is promoting regarding confidence-building measures is nothing formal," the statement said.
According to Israeli and Palestinian estimates, about 650,000 Israeli settlers live in 164 settlements and 124 outposts in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
"All forms of settlement are illegal and invalid," the statement said, adding that the Israeli government is fully and directly responsible for this decision and its repercussions on the opportunity to achieve peace and the two-state solution.
Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled them ever since.