Israel approved on Wednesday the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West bank settlements and retroactively legalized dozens more.

The plan has already been approved at the political level.

The Civil Administration's High Planning Committee approved the building of 234 homes in Elkana, which are designated by the plan as a nursing home, 31 homes in Beit Arye, and 20 homes in Givat Ze'ev. The committee has also legalized 178 housing units which were built in Beit Arye the 1980s.

The housing units planned for Elkana still require objections to be heard before a final approval is granted.

The construction of 30 housing units originally planned for the settlement of Efrat, however, were not approved by the panel.

The Civil Administration is the Israeli agency that oversees services for residents of the occupied West Bank.

Earlier this month, a Jerusalem district panel approved the construction of 56 homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramot, located across the Green Line.

The additional housing will not expand the boundaries of the neighborhood, but will increase building density within Ramot.

Last week, Haaretz reported that Israel plans to expand the Jewish settlement in the West Bank city of Hebron for the first time in over a decade. The U.S. State Department expressed "deep concern" about the intention to advance construction for settlers there.

"We strongly oppose all settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. And we’ve said repeatedly such moves are not consistent with Israel’s stated desire to achieve a two-state solution," a State Department spokesman said.

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