Israel Approves Plan to Double Population in Occupied Golan Heights
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Israeli cabinet approved a $317 million "unprecedented" plan on Sunday to double the Jewish population of the occupied Golan Heights by building two new settlements and thousands of housing units in the existing communities.
"Our goal today is to double the population of the Golan Heights. The Golan Heights, the need to strengthen, cultivate and live in it, is certainly a principle that unites everyone," Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said.
A total of 7,300 extra residential units will be built in the village of Katzrin and in the Golan Heights regional council over the next five years to attract an additional 23,000 settlers to territories captured from Syria. Two new settlements of Asif and Matar will hold 2,000 housing units each.
Jewish settlements are labeled as illegal by the United Nations. Israel has been repeatedly warned that settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian and Syrian lands undermines the Middle Eastern peace process.
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