Israel announced plans on Tuesday for 2,500 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, the second such declaration since U.S. President Donald Trump took office signaling he could be more accommodating toward such projects than his predecessor.
A statement from the Israeli Defence Ministry, which administers lands Israel captured in a 1967 war, said the decision was meant to fulfil demand for new housing “to maintain regular daily life”. Most of the construction, it said, would be in existing settlement blocs that Israel intends to keep under any future peace agreement with the Palestinians. However, a breakdown provided by the prime minister’s office showed large portions of the planned homes would be outside existing blocs.
Trump spoke by phone on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Tuesday, the new president’s chief spokesman refrained from stating a position on the settlement announcement but said the two leaders would discuss settlement building when they meet in Washington next month.