Israel hammered a further nail into the coffin of the so-called peace process today by approving 90 new settler units deep in the occupied West Bank.
The Defence Ministry signed off construction of the housing in illegal Beit El, which sits on a hilltop above the crowded Palestinian refugee camp of Jalazone near Ramallah.
Right-wing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged that around 300 new units will eventually be built at the settlement.
It already houses over 6,000 people and is linked to Israel by a settler-only road.
The majority of the land on which Beit El is built has been snatched from Palestinian private landowners.
However maps detailing the settlement's "border" suggest big plans for expansion.
The latest announcement represents another snub for financial backer and military ally the United States, whose recently re-elected President Barack Obama is set to fly in for talks next month.
His administration has publicly acknowledged the problem of Israel's rampant settlement-building that also threatens to completely encircle east Jerusalem, long earmarked by the United Nations as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said of today's news: "The Palestinian position is clear. There can be no negotiation while settlement continues."