Palestinians seeking to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank have asked the Israeli government to consider granting them permission to do so, following the successful completion of a land surveying and development project on a hill overlooking Jerusalem.
The initiative is part of a larger initiative by Palestinians to build more than 600 new housing units on land that is already under Israeli control.
A spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Housing, Zvi Ben-Ami, said that the ministry would soon issue a ruling on the matter.
The Palestinian Authority has sought to build housing on the hill for more than 10 years.
It is not clear how many units would be built there, but the project would provide a permanent settlement that is close to the Western Wall and will serve as the Israeli side’s main security barrier to the holy site.
Israel, however, has rejected the plan, saying that the hill is too high for new construction and that it would be difficult to establish an outpost on the site.
“If you do not have permission to build, there will be no housing for Palestinians in the area,” a spokesman for Netanyahu told The Associated Press in November.
“If you don’t have permission, there won’t be any housing for you.”
The West Bank’s largest Palestinian group, the Fatah movement, rejected the initiative, as did Israel.
The group has been advocating for a Palestinian state since 1967.
Palestinians believe the West Bank was captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel seized the territory, and that Palestinians are the rightful inhabitants of the area.
Israel seized the West Wall and East Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community, which annexed the area in a bid to build settlements and make them part of its territory.