A local Palestinian Authority (PA) official on Tuesday told AFP that Israel has bulldozed land slated for the construction of 255 new Jewish homes in Samaria northwest of Ramallah.
The official, Abdallah Lawadeh, said the land had already been bulldozed and temporary houses have been set up for Israelis. The 255 homes to be built in the area are part of a planned 800 houses designated by Israel since October for construction in Judea and Samaria.
According to the far-left Peace Now organization, on November 7 the army approved construction on the 255 units in Nahalei Tal, an outpost that was connected to the national infrastructure in 2005.
The move comes ahead of US Secretary of State John Kerry's return to Israel this week to push peace talks between Israel and the PA.
Those talks have largely been a failure.
A senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) official recently admitted that the PA was only continuing the talks to free all 106 terrorist prisoners being offered for release as a "gesture."
Meanwhile PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to "take action" through international bodies against Israel should the talks fail.
Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) on Tuesday told Arutz Sheva Radio that he will keep plans to build over 20,000 housing units in Judea and Samaria on the agenda, criticizing the PA's threats to quit talks over Israeli construction in the region as "nonsense."