Israel radio reports that Israel has given preliminary approval for the construction of a new Jewish settlement in the West Bank.
It would be the first new settlement established by Israel in several years.
The report says a committee has given the approval for the construction of 20 housing units in Maskiot and that Defense Minister Ehud Barak is slated to grant final approval soon.
Calls to Israeli spokespeople requesting comment were not immediately returned Thursday.
The news is certain to anger Palestinians just as the sides try to work out a final peace agreement by the end of the year.
Israel has committed not to establish new settlements in the West Bank, which the Palestinians want to include in a state.
Not only is the building of a new Israeli settlement in the West Bank a violation of the international agreements that allowed Israel to form in the first place, but the peace process can only move forward if Israel agrees to remove any Jewish settlements in Palestinian land that were established earlier.
The Zionist dream of having an independent Jewish homeland has already been fulfilled. But some extremists among the Jews don’t know when enough is enough. And they, along with all their fellow Jews, will ultimately be the losers if they are not stopped from stealing any more Arab land. The Arabs will surely strike at Israel and set back peace in the Middle East by several decades. And the United States needs to stop blindly supporting Israel and put firm conditions on any future aid it may offer any nation in that part of the world.