Israel okays new homes in east Jerusalem: ‘Rules of the game have changed with Trump’

by WorldTribune Staff, January 22, 2017

Israeli officials have approved hundreds of new settler homes, the construction of which were postponed until after U.S. President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Building permits for 566 settler homes in east Jerusalem were approved on Jan. 22.

Construction site in the Israeli settlement of Ramot. /Reuters

“The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president,” Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turjeman told AFP. “We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build.”

Palestinian officials condemned the move, calling it a violation of last month’s UN resolution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to speak to Trump on Jan. 22 for the first time since the 45th U.S. president’s inauguration.

“Many matters face us, including the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the situation in Syria and the Iranian threat,” Netanyahu said.

Also on Jan. 22, a draft bill to annex the Maale Adumim settlement in east Jerusalem was also discussed by Israeli ministers.

Netanyahu sought to delay a vote on the annexation vote, arguing that Trump’s team had indicated no unilateral moves should be taken so soon.

At the start of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu spoke generally of settlements, saying “none are more concerned about it than the Likud government and I, and we will continue to look out for it wisely and responsibly, for the benefit of the settlement enterprise and the state of Israel.”

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