Israel Approves New West Bank Housing

Israel has approved the construction of hundreds of homes for Jewish settlers in the disputed West Bank territory. Officials confirmed that a ministerial committee came to the decision on Saturday, a day after the brutal murder of five family members, including a five-month-old baby, in a West Bank Jewish settlement. An Israeli government official said they would construct homes in settlements where Israel hopes to retain their hold in a possible peace agreement with Palestinians. Palestinian officials have disapproved and refused any direct contact with Israel until they cease construction. "This decision is wrong and unacceptable and will only create problems," said a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. International law says that more than 100 Jewish-occupied settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal, though Israel disputes this on the grounds of their 1967 occupation of the territories.