Israel will announce construction plans for about 5,000 new housing units in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned a symbolic decision by the Israeli Cabinet to change the status of the Ariel University Center in the West Bank into a full-fledged university.
The West Bank outpost of Bruchin received its charter, making it a legal settlement.
The Israeli government reportedly agreed to subsidize the construction of 500 new living units in the West Bank, despite saying it would not provide incentives to the settlements.
Israel's Education Minister expressed public support for turning the university center at Ariel into a full university, and the Finance Ministry announced extra funding in advance of a committee vote on the issue.
A bill making it illegal for companies to discriminate against customers based on where they live, including the West Bank, passed its initial reading in the Knesset. The bill presented Wednesday could benefit West Bank cities and citizens, Haaretz reported.
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon remains in a coma five years after suffering a massive stroke. There were no official events Tuesday to mark the five-year anniversary of the stroke, which ended Sharon's political career. But he was briefly remembered Monday at a Likud Party briefing and in a column written by former colleague Tzachi Hanegbi in The Jerusalem Post.
The city of Ariel is home to 19,000 Israelis, a university center of 12,000 students and a growing industrial park with 27 factories employing thousands of workers. The city’s backers describe Ariel as beautiful, diverse, peaceful. One repeat American visitor said, “It’s like driving into some San Diego suburb.”
Want to know exactly where in the West Bank the city-sized settlement of oft-discussed Ariel is located? How about when it was established, or how many Israelis live there? There’s an app for that.