Israeli cabinet approves first new settlements in West Bank in two decades

Posted April 01, 2017

"I promised to create a new community and we are going to respect that commitment and create it today", he said ahead of Thursday's security cabinet meeting.

The new settlement will be used to house Jewish families evicted from Amona, an outpost that was cleared last month after the Israeli Supreme Court ruled it had been built illegally on private Palestinian land. Trump, who has said Netanyahu should hold off on the expansion of settlements, pledged during his campaign to avoid public criticism of Israel.

Greenblatt has expressed the Trump administration's interest in restarting the stalled peace process between the two sides. But Israel has not built a full-fledged new settlement since the 1990s. Exceptions will be made for legal and security concerns, in which case construction will take place as close as possible to existing housing.

Arab leaders concluded the summit by stressing the importance of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Now, however, the signals from Washington are that the new president, a man who knows a thing or two about disputes over real estate, wants to try to push through an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

The move comes after last month US President Donald Trump, who had been viewed supportive of settlements, told Netanyahu at the White House to "hold back on settlements for a little bit" in order to open space for renewed peace talks.

The statement said that Guterres "took notice with disappointment and alarm" at the decision by Israel "to build a new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory".

Such settlements, in territory that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, are deemed illegal by most of the world.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution in December that demanded a halt to settlement building after the United States, Israel's ally, abstained from the vote.

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Turkey condemned the decision.

The Israeli prime minister announced Friday that he will limit settlement building across the West Bank in a show of good will to President Trump.

On the campaign trail, Trump indicated he would move the USA embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sending a strong message of support to right-leaning Israelis, while angering Palestinians, who claim Jerusalem as their capital.

Isreali opposition groups like Peace Now also chimed-in with condemnation.

The worldwide community mostly views settlements in the West Bank territory illegal and an obstacle to peace. "This is unfortunate that the government is binding to the settlers will", he said.

Israeli settlers block the road during the evacuation of the settlement.

Israel's Peace Now organization - an opponent of settlement expansion - said it's the first time since 1991 that Israel's government has made a decision to establish a settlement in such a far-flung spot. "The true test will be the implementation of these plans and their manifestation as actual bricks and mortar on the ground". "We will be monitoring that this will indeed happen and that in the weeks to come all that needs to be done will be done".