Barak approves 455 new units in West Bank settlement blocs

Defense Minister Ehud Barak approved on Sunday evening the construction of 455 new housing units in Judea and Samaria settlements, a Defense Ministry statement confirmed on Monday morning. The Gush Etzion settlement of Har Gilo, which is just south of Jerusalem, will receive a major boost to its population with 149 units winning the ministry's approval. Ma'aleh Adumim received a boost of 89 new units. The haredi city Modi'in Illit will see an additional 84 units, the Agan Ha'ayalot neighborhood of Givat Ze'ev is to grow by 76 units, and the small settlement Kedar, which is near Ma'aleh Adumim, has received Barak's okay for 25 new units. The defense minister also approved 20 units in Maskiot in the Jordan Valley, and 12 additional units in the veteran Gush Etzion settlement Alon Shvut. Barak also approved the construction of a sports park in Ariel, the statement continued, and a plan for a new school in Har Adar is currently in the works.