Israeli authorities have approved more than 1,100 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank , the Peace Now NGO said on Thursday, the latest in a raft of such moves in recent months.

The approvals were given on Wednesday by a defence ministry committee with authority over settlement construction.

Some 352 of the homes received final approval, while the others are at an earlier stage in the process, Hagit Ofran of Peace Now, which monitors settlement building, told AFP.

A total of 1,122 housing units were advanced, including seven already existing homes given retroactive approval.

According to Ofran, the majority of the approvals are for settlements deep in the West Bank that Israel would likely need to evacuate as part of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“It's a part of the general trend that the government is doing, which is to build all over the West Bank , even more in places that Israel would need to evict, and in this way to torpedo the possibility for a two-state solution,” she said.

A shooting that killed an Israeli settler on Tuesday in the West Bank led to fresh calls for further settlement building, though the plans approved on Wednesday were already in the works.

According to Peace Now, 6,742 housing projects were approved in the settlements last year, the highest figure since 2013.

Israeli settlements are seen as illegal under international law and major obstacles to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

Prominent members of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government openly oppose Palestinian statehood.

Calls for 'revenge'

Israel faced sharp criticism from the administration of former United States president Barack Obama over settlement construction, but that has not been the case with US President Donald Trump's White House and Israeli officials have sought to take advantage.

Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6 sparked Palestinian anger and led president Mahmud Abbas to say Washington could no longer play any role in the peace process.

Sporadic unrest has occurred since then, leaving 14 Palestinians dead, with most of them killed in clashes with Israeli forces.

The settler shot dead on Tuesday night, Raziel Shevah, 35, was the first Israeli killed since Trump's announcement, though it was unclear if there was any link.

US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, a supporter of West Bank settlements, said on Twitter after the murder: “An Israeli father of six was killed last night in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists.”

“Hamas praises the killers and PA (Palestinian Authority) laws will provide them financial rewards. Look no further to why there is no peace.”

The Palestinian foreign ministry in response accused Friedman of a “prejudiced” stance on the conflict, saying he has yet to criticise Israel for settlement building or its 50-year occupation of the West Bank .

Israeli authorities have been searching for the attackers behind the shooting that occurred near the major Palestinian city of Nablus in the northern West Bank .

Roadblocks have been set up in the Nablus area.

At the victim's funeral on Wednesday at the wildcat settlement where he lived, Havat Gilad, there were calls for “revenge” by some in attendance during a speech by Education Minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Jewish Home party.

Bennett responded by saying that the only revenge should be in building more settlements.