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Israel's settlement project delayed

Jan. 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM

JERUSALEM, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Officials said Israel's prime minister is delaying the project to build 3,000 homes in the E1 district, which encompasses a sensitive area of the West Bank.

Since Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared his support for the controversial project in December, Ynetnews said the plans underwent several changes and the defense minister has approved the blueprints.

Netanyahu has not yet filed the documents with the zoning committee.

"When it comes to planning, everything is set," a source told Ynetnews. "Instructions from the Prime Minister's Office should now go down to the civil administration. I don't know why, but so far they haven't."

Officials said they are frustrated with Netanyahu's delay.

"The halting of the E1 plans by the prime minister's office proves that Netanyahu's statements regarding the settlements are only sleight-of-hand," State Control Committee Chairman Uri Ariel said.

Ynetnews said the plans created an international outcry after Netanyahu decided on their advancement as a retaliatory measure against Palestinian Authority's U.N. status upgrade.

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