Israel announces 'small' number of new West Bank homes

The Israeli prime minister's office says Israel will "upgrade" some Israeli settlement buildings in the West Bank and build only a "small" number of other structures in the territory, but an Israeli settlement watchdog is questioning the claim.

The prime minister's office said Thursday the new buildings are slated for an existing West Bank settlement that would "be part of Israel in any future agreement" on the fate of the disputed territory. The Israeli prime minister's office did not elaborate, and the defense and housing ministries declined comment.

The group Peace Now says Israel is planning over 200 settlement housing units, much of them new homes.

Palestinian government official Saeb Erekat said the move "destroys the prospects" of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank.