Israeli media say the government has advanced plans for the construction of 285 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Wednesday's decision prompted a swift condemnation from the White House.

The Haaretz website says a military planning committee approved 31 new housing units in the Beit Ariyeh settlement and 20 new units in Givat Zeev near Jerusalem.

Haaretz says it also retroactively approved 178 housing units in Beit Ariyeh that had been built illegally in the 1980s.

The committee has also advanced plans for a senior citizens' home of 234 housing units in the settlement of Elkana.

The White House said the move poses a "serious and growing threat" to the creation of an independent Palestinian state.