PM Netanyahu Lays Out Administration-Approved 'Rules' for Construction

The statement said that Guterres "took notice with disappointment and alarm" at the decision by Israel "to build a new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory". In a statement released Friday, the Foreign Ministry described the move as "unacceptable" and said it violated Palestinians' rights, UN Security Council resolutions and the will of the global community.

His ambassador to Washington recently announced at the annual conference of AIPAC, a pro-Israel lobby in America, that "for the first time in many years, perhaps in decades, there is no daylight between our two governments".

Israel will curb construction as a gesture to President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his top ministers.

It was not immediately clear whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had received a green light from the White House for Thursday's announcement.

Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the new settlement approval and called for worldwide intervention.

"As the administration has made clear: While the existence of settlements is not in itself an impediment to peace, further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace", the official said.

But Netanyahu also said that in response to President Trump's positions the government would limit new construction in the more than 100 existing settlements to those areas already built.

Israel's move to approve a new settlement deep in the West Bank brought worldwide condemnation Friday, even as the government was bending to pressure from the Trump administration to limit the footprint of future settlement building.


A White House official sought to play down Thursday's Israeli announcement, saying Netanyahu made his promise to the Amona settlers before Trump laid out his vision. For years, Israeli settlements cropped up all around that land. The United Nations, the PA, and anti-Israel NGO's wasted no time in condemning the move.

They had hoped to see laws proposed for the annexation of large parts of the West Bank to Israel, beginning with the town of Ma'ale Adumim, east of Jerusalem.

The new settlement will be constructed north of the former wildcat Jewish outpost known as Amona, which was razed in February in accordance with an Israeli High Court order.

Israel has long pursued a policy of constructing Jewish-only settlements on land captured in the 1967 war, with more than 600,000 Israelis now living in illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

United Nations chief António Guterres criticized the decision to build a new settlement.

Trump has pledged to solve the decades-long conflict, changing long-held US policy in support of a two-state solution when he said he would support either a two-state or a one-state solution, depending on what both sides wanted.

A team of Israeli officials, led by Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, met last week with Jason Greenblatt, Trump's special representative for global negotiations, to find a solution.

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