Israel advances settlement plans despite Trump plea

By AFP – Jun 09,2017 –


A rainbow is seen over the Israeli settler outpost of Amona in the occupied West Bank on January 31 (Reuters photo)


OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Israel has advanced plans for more than 3,000 settler units in West Bank settlements this week, despite US President Donald Trump’s call to hold back on such projects as he seeks ways to restart peace efforts.

Israel pushed forward with the plans as it also marked 50 years since the June War, fought from June 5-10, 1967 and which began its continuing occupation of the West Bank.

A total of 3,178 settler units were advanced in a number of different settlements, the Peace Now NGO that tracks settlement growth told AFP on Thursday.

They are the first new settlement units announcements since Trump’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories last month, when he tried to encourage both sides back to the negotiating table.

Trump has called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hold back on settlement units for now, but the right-wing Israeli leader has been under intense pressure from settler leaders.

The powerful settler movement wields heavy influence in Netanyahu’s right-wing governing coalition.

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