illegal settlements
A construction site is seen in the Israeli settlement of Givat Zeev, near Jerusalem Reuters

Israel is to approve hundreds of illegal new settlement units this week in direct violation of a newly passed United Nations resolution, local reports suggest.

The UN's Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on Friday (23 December) states that Israeli settlements in Palestinian land, particularly in East Jerusalem, have no legal validity, are a "flagrant" breach of international law and are an obstacle to a two-state solution.

However, according to Haaretz, that resolution will be flouted as the Jerusalem Local Planning and Construction Committee is set to approve 618 new building permits on Wednesday (28 December).

The green light is expected to be given on 140 homes in Pisgat Ze'ev, 262 in Ramat Shlomo and 216 in Ramot.

As many as 5,600 more illegal settlement units are to be considered in Gilo, Ramot and Givat Hamatos, reported the Jerusalem Post.

It is not yet clear how the international community will respond to such violations, if approval is given, but would be in line with a wider Israeli strategy of retribution for passing the UN resolution.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu labelled the resolution "shameful" and withdrew Israel's funding of 30m shekels (£6.3m) from a number of UN programmes as a result.

He also summoned his ambassadors from every country involved in the vote, including the United States and the United Kingdom, back to Israel.

Jerusalem's Mayor Nir Barkat also said he would continue to approve new settlements, regardless of international pressure.

He told the Jerusalem Post: "I'm not ever going to stop building. No construction will be stopped by me as mayor."

Although the UN resolution was seen as an incremental victory for Palestinians, who have been illegally occupied by Israel since 1967, Birkat insisted the UN was biased against Israel.

He also said it was a failure by US President Barack Obama to "protect" Israel, despite the country's relative military strength in the region.

During the vote on the resolution, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said America's position reflected the "facts on the ground" – that the number of illegal Israeli settlements had been rapidly increasing.

In 2016, 1,506 building permits were approved in East Jerusalem, compared to 395 last year and 775 the year before.