Aug. 22 (UPI) -- Israel approved construction of nearly 400 new housing units in the West Bank on Wednesday.
Israel's Civil Administration approved final construction of 382 new homes, allowing construction to continue without delay, Haaretz reported.
The Civil Administration also discussed plans for construction of up to 1,000, which still require further permission from the Higher Planning Council.
More than 600,000 Jewish people live in about 140 settlements built on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem since Israel occupied the area in 1967, the BBC reported.
The settlements are considered illegal under international law as Palestinians have laid claim to the land for a future state, but Israel disputes the legislation.
The council also discussed plans to build housing units in the settlement of Adam where Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed to build 400 units in response to an attack last month in which an Israeli civilian was stabbed to death and others were injured by a Palestinian.
The Yesha Council, an umbrella organization of municipal councils representing Jewish settlers, said it was disappointed by how few new housing units were approved.
"This is a scant number of housing units, the smallest to have been approved in the past 18 months," the council said.
Chairwoman MK Tamar Zandberg of the Israeli Meretz Party said the decision to add more settlements was "like sticking a finger in the eye of any possible peace process" with the Palestinians.
"The government doesn't care about Israeli interests, only about the interests of settlers," Zandberg said.