By Hamdi Yildiz
JERUSALEM (AA) - Israel has reportedly accelerated its efforts to build thousands of new settlement homes in an area of occupied Jerusalem, according to local media.
State-owned KAN channel said late Sunday that there has been rushing the construction of more than 9,000 settlement units in the Atarot Industrial Zone in the north of Jerusalem.
Underlining that Israel intends to ignore international criticism of illegal settlement activities in the region, KAN channel said the construction work is scheduled to be completed before Jan. 20, when President-elect Joe Biden assumes office.
The Israeli move came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month, the channel said.
On Nov. 15, the Israel Land Authority revealed plans to build further 1,257 settlement units in the Israeli Givat Hamatos area of the occupied East Jerusalem.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as "occupied territory" under international law, making all Jewish settlements there illegal.
*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz