As Trump takes office, Israel pushes ahead with settlements

AP , Sunday 22 Jan 2017

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

The Jerusalem municipality is pushing forward with 566 new housing units for Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem.

The building plans were put on hold in the final months of President Barack Obama's administration and were announced Sunday following the inauguration of Donald Trump. It wasn't immediately clear whether the project needs further approvals or when construction would begin.

Israel clashed frequently with Obama over construction in areas it conquered in the 1967 Mideast war. Most of the world considers settlements illegal or illegitimate.

But Israel's hardline government has high expectations for Trump, who has signaled he will take a far kinder approach to them.

Trump's appointed ambassador to Israel has close ties to Jewish West Bank settlements as does the foundation run by the family of Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

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