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2/1/17

Israel: Emboldened by Trump, Israel Approves a Wave of West Bank Settlement Expansion - by Isabel Kershner

n a pointed act of defiance against international pressure, Israel on Tuesday approved a huge new wave of settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

The announcement made clear that just a few days into the Trump presidency, the Israeli government feels emboldened to shake off the constraints imposed by the Obama administration and more willing to disregard international condemnation.

Leaders from 70 countries met in Paris more than a week ago and issued a warning that the two-state peace solution was imperiled by Israel’s expanding of settlements in Palestinian-claimed territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as violence against Israelis. But even though Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed the principle of side-by-side states, in the past few days Israel’s campaign of settlement building has only accelerated.

The first step came on Sunday, when the Jerusalem City Council approved 566 new housing units in East Jerusalem that had been delayed over President Barack Obama’s objections.

Read more: Emboldened by Trump, Israel Approves a Wave of West Bank Settlement Expansion - The New York Times

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