White House official says United States understands construction of new Israeli setllement

It's part of a promise Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made to families in the Amona settlement, which was evacuated and shut down last month.

Israel's settler movement has expected Trump to be more supportive of their goals to expand their communities in the West Bank after eight years of restrictions and criticism during the Obama administration.

In a statement, Peace Now said the new settlement would be "strategic for the fragmentation of the West Bank" because it would join a series of Israeli towns that effectively would prevent the establishment of a contiguous Palestinian state.

The security cabinet gave its unanimous backing to the new settlement late yesterday as what is widely seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history presses ahead with settlement expansion in defiance of worldwide concern.

Moving forward, however, Netanyahu told his ministers that Israel would adopt a more muted policy on settlement construction in deference to the preferences of the Trump administration.

The issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has always been a major source of dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.

At the meeting Thursday, PM Netanyahu clarified what this meant in terms of construction: New housing will be limited to the "built-up" areas of settlements, meaning the areas that have already been approved for construction, or are within the municipal boundaries of settlements.

Fowler shoots 64 for 1-shot lead at Houston Open
Fowler said he was fortunate to not have been too thrown off by the muddy conditions. "You're just hoping not to screw up". Last week, he lost his opening match to Hideto Tanihara of Japan in the Match Play and didn't advance out of his group.

Governor proposes $.12 gas tax hike
A rash of powerful winter storms further pounded California's crummy roads and forced Brown to ask for federal emergency relief. A vote would likely come on Thursday, April 6th - the last day before the Legislature begins its spring recess.

US condemns Venezuela Supreme Court decision
Since then, the top court has annulled numerous assembly's decisions. Treason carries a prison sentence of up to 30 years in Venezuela.

A White House official also warned Friday that "while the existence of settlements is not in itself an impediment to peace, further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace".

Settlements in land Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War are considered illegal by most of the worldwide community and an obstacle to restarting peace talks as they are built on land Palestinians claim for a future state.

The new settlement approval was sharply criticized by Palestinians.

"Israel's policies remain unchanged as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his extremist, racist coalition government continue to persist with their systematic policies of settler colonialism, apartheid and ethnic cleansing, showing a total and blatant disregard for Palestinian human rights, independence and dignity", Ashrawi said in a statement.

Israel's anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now also condemned the decision to replace Amona. Such Israeli settlements have expanded in recent years.

Settler leaders said they were pleased, but behind closed doors they are angry.

But a new Israeli settlement could make achieving that goal even more hard. However, it looks as though the new agreement goes further than a previous one agreed between George W. Bush and then-prime minister Ariel Sharon, which restricted new building to the main settlement blocks.

Related news