Ramallah: The Israeli Defence Ministry has approved the construction of 119 new homes in the colony of Shilo in the West Bank. Once implemented, the colony will be expanded by 60 per cent, to include 195 existing homes, apart from the caravans which spread all over the place.

The approval came to light when the Israeli High Court reviewed a petition submitted by the Peace Now complaining about the construction of 40 new homes in Shilo.

The Israeli daily Yediot Ahranoth stressed that Israelis took advantage of the court case and announced the legalisation of dozens of illegal homes in Shilo.

In a statement, Peace Now's Settlement Watch project said "for every home the government does not destroy in the illegal outposts, it approves dozens of other homes in settlements".

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and Fatah condemned the construction of new homes, stressing that such moves kill what remains of the peace process and the two-state solution formula.

Ameen Maqboul, who heads the Fatah Revolutionary Council, told Gulf News that Israel proves daily that it is not interested in peace.

"Israel has preferred colonisation to the peace process," he added.