The ministerial team for settlements approved hundreds of new apartments in the settlements of Ma'ale Adumim, Ariel, Kiryat Sefer and in Gush Etzion in a special meeting on Saturday.

The move comes in the wake of a terrorist attack on Friday in which five members of one family were stabbed to death in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

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Among the participants in the specially called meeting were Prime Minister Binyamin Netnayahu, Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Homeland Security Minister Matan Vilna'i. Sources in the Prime Minister's Office told Israel Radio that the plan deals with measured building inside existing settlement blocs.

Chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria Danny Dayan on Sunday criticized the government's decision to approve the building permits, saying that it shouldn't have only after the Fogel family was murdered.

"The government's decision is a small move in the right direction, given that construction in Yehuda and Shomron stands at a negative index of thousands of housing units," he said.

Dayan added, "The government should approve additional construction and of course, should finally approve the master plan for Itamar and the building of a new neighborhood in the name of those murdered."

"This unfortunately is only the first time since the formation of the second Netanyahu government that new housing has been approved and it's a pity that parents and their children needed to be murdered for it to do so."


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