Netanyahu Approves 2500 More Homes in Settlement Territories

The Jerusalem Local Planning and Building Committee on Sunday approved the construction of hundreds of building units beyond the Green Line, or the pre-1967 borders, in Jerusalem.

United States President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington next month, the president's office said. President Trump's ambassador-designate to Israel, attorney David Friedman, is president of American Friends of Bet El Institutions.

But the White House statement concerning the call did not mention Trump's suggestion to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - a transfer that would break with the consensus of the vast majority of the global community, which does not recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Jared Kushner has been cleared to serve as a White House adviser.

In his first official press briefing today, White House press secretary Sean Spicer indicated that the new administration was pumping the brakes for now on at least one policy move that had been expected.

The ministry added that the Israeli act also "undermines exerted efforts to resume the peace process and revive negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reach a fair and comprehensive settlement for the Palestinian cause in accordance with worldwide law and agreements". If Trump were to move the embassy to Jerusalem, it would represent a major change in U.S. policy that has for decades left the status of the city, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their holy capital, up to peace negotiations. The phone call included discussions on the Iranian deal, the Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation process, and other regional security issues.

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. Trump, however, has said that the United Nations resolution should be vetoed by him. Trump called for the resolution to be vetoed.

"The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump's arrival as president".

After eight years of frosty relations with President Barack Obama, Netanyahu has welcomed Trump's election as an opportunity to strengthen ties between the two allies. Avigdor Lieberman, the defence minister, said he would also seek approval for the Palestinians to build an industrial park near the city of Hebron.

Earlier in the briefing, Spicer refused to comment on the Obama administration's last-minute move to transfer $221 million to the Palestinian Authority and the PA's use of American taxpayers' money to pay salaries to terrorists and their families.

Israel has announced plans for 2,500 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. Netanyahu and senior ministers were briefed by Israeli security services on possible violence scenarios in the event of an embassy move, according to a report by the Israeli daily Haaretz.

That is, to wait until Trump took office.

Annexing Maale Adumim unilaterally would set off alarm bells globally, with many warning that it would be another step towards dividing the occupied West Bank between north and south, making a contiguous Palestinian state hard to achieve.

"We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem", he declared in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee past year.

Most of the units will be in settlement blocs close to the border that Israel expects to keep in any eventual peace agreement with the Palestinians.

According to global law, building settlements on occupied territory is illegal.

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