Inspired by their new friend in Washington, the Israeli government decided to grab more Palestinian land.
And a direct beneficiary is a settlement backed by Trump’s choice for the Israeli ambassadorship.
From the Washington Post:
Israel approved the construction of 2,500 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank on Tuesday, just two days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with President Trump.
Netanyahu and members of his right-wing government have bristled at the harsh condemnations of settlement growth by the Obama administration, which condemned the Jewish communities as “illegitimate” and “an obstacle to peace.”
Trump, however, has signaled more accommodating policies toward Israel and has called for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a city claimed as the capital of both Israel and a potential future Palestinian state. The Jewish settlements have grown to house more than 400,000 Jewish residents in the West Bank.
“We’re building — and will continue to build,” Netanyahu said following the announcement.
There was no initial reaction to the announcement by the Trump White House or the State Department.
But the potential sites could carry deep political resonance in the United States. Jeremy Ben- Ami, head of the liberal Washington-based group J Street, noted that about 100 of the possible new units are in Beit El, a West Bank settlement supported by David Friedman, Trump’s selection to be the next U.S. ambassador to Israel.
UPDATE: More from the Guardian:
Israeli politicians have rushed to exploit what they see as a pro-Israel and pro-settlement US administration.
The announcement of 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank is one of the largest in years and marks a comprehensive rejection of December’s UN security council resolution, which described settlement building as a “flagrant violation” of international law and an obstacle to peace.
The decision, approved by the rightwing Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and his defence minister, Avigdor Lieberman, seems certain to further increase tensions with Palestinians and the wider Middle East, already high over the Trump administration’s proposal to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Nabil Abu Rdainah, a spokesman for the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, said the move would have “consequences”. “The decision will hinder any attempt to restore security and stability; it will reinforce extremism and terrorism and will place obstacles in the path of any effort to start a peace process that will lead to security and peace,” he added.