Lior Amihai, spokesman for the Israeli watchdog group Settlement Watch, claims the construction of 2,500 units would be the largest expansion in the West Bank since peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians broke down in April of 2014.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned that the Israeli plans will undermine efforts to bring peace to the Middle East and will promote extremism, although he failed to explain how that would occur. There are already more than 400,000 Israeli residents in the West Bank, so an additional 2,500 units will not significantly affect population size.
“We are returning to normal life in Judea and Samaria,” Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said in the statement announcing the plans, using the Biblical names for the West Bank.
In the same statement, Lieberman also announced the construction of a Palestinian industrial park outside Hebron in the West Bank. “It will be one of the largest industrial zones in the West Bank, in which we are planning to set up warehouse and fuel storage infrastructure.”
It is fascinating to watch events transpiring in Israel today. What has been occurring since the proclamation of the state of Israel in 1948 seems to be the precursor of the fulfillment of God's promise recorded in Amos 9:14-15: "I will bring back the captives of My people Israel; they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and drink wine from them; they shall also make gardens and eat fruit from them. I will plant them in their land, and no longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them, says the Lord your God." While there are those who claim that prophecy was fulfilled when the Jews returned to the land following the Babylonia captivity, that doesn't agree with God's final promise that "No longer shall they be pulled up from the land I have given them."