Israel and the Palestinians have been locked in a bitter dispute for years, with both sides insisting the settlements, which cover some of the most sensitive areas of the West Bank, must be recognized as part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Israeli military has long argued that the settlements are illegal and should be demolished, while the Palestinians insist they are the site of historic Palestinian heritage.
But in a major escalation, the Israeli military said on Thursday it will move a military outpost on the occupied West Bank and annex two new settlements on the other side of the border.
The two settlements, in the northern West Bank village of Bani Naim, and in the southern settlement of Nabi Saleh, have long been seen as a potential stumbling block to peace negotiations, with the Palestinians calling them illegal, illegal under international law.
Both are located in the Westbank, a strategic area under Israeli control.
Israel and the United States have accused both parties of violating the 1972 Oslo Accords and of failing to adhere to the terms of the peace treaty.
Both have insisted the settlements must be dismantled.
In a statement, the IDF said it would establish a military base in Bani Nadab on Thursday.
It said it will build new housing units for about 3,000 Palestinians, including women and children, and will also establish a medical clinic and two schools, as well as a hospital.
It did not say where or when the new housing will be located.
In another move aimed at expanding settlements, the Israel Defense Forces said it plans to construct a new military outpost in the occupied Golan Heights, where Israel’s security forces maintain a large presence, the army said.
The Golan has long been a source of tension between Israel and Syria, which has its own armed forces there and which has declared the territory a strategic and strategic border.