Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be abandoning his previous pledge to build a new settlement in the occupied West Bank for the evacuees from the illegal outpost at Amona, telling the security cabinet a new solution will likely need to be found.
Netanyahu appears to be telling the cabinet this move is the result of his recent meeting with President Trump, and Trump’s call for him to rein in settlement expansion, something that top Israeli officials have sought to avoid directly addressing in public statement.
The expectation among Israeli officials is that some “understanding” will be reached between the US and Israel on resuming the expansion of settlements and the unrestrained creation of new settlements. The evacuees, in the meantime, are likely to be sent to other existing settlements.
While Israel has long been willing to expand settlements even over explicit objections from US officials, Netanyahu cited the expectation that Trump is going to “upgrade” US-Israeli ties in every possible way as a justification for trying to keep him happy, at least for the time being.
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