Israel greenlights largest West Bank settlement construction in 25 years

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Israel has withdrawn from the Gaza Strip, but entrenched itself in the West Bank with the construction of large numbers of Jewish settlements, making it more hard to separate from the Palestinians and give them a state in the West Bank, which is the only reasonable solution to the conflict with them.

The powerful settler movement wields heavy influence in Mr Netanyahu's right-wing governing coalition.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation advanced a bill on Sunday that would cut tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority (PA) over stipends paid by the Palestinian leadership to security prisoners and their families.

Over 60 attendees, including staff from at least 36 congressional offices, joined human rights advocates on Capitol Hill on Thursday, for a briefing to mark 50 years since the Israeli military occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.

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Israel collects customs from Palestinian imports and exports on behalf of the PNA and taxes from salaries of Palestinians who work in Israel. Any peace agreement with the Palestinians, who seek a capital in Jerusalem as well, should acknowledge reality and provide for a new division of the city - with adjustments, however complicated they might be to negotiate - over the location of a new border.

"There isn't and there hasn't been a better government to take care of the Jewish settlement in Judea and Samara and to develop it", he said. "It is unacceptable for United Nations agencies to not only attempt to change the political facts on the ground, but to question the connection between the State of Israel and our capital of Jerusalem", he said.

Last month, Mr Trump visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, meeting both Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas and seeking what he called the "ultimate deal".

On Tuesday, the premier told settlers he would keep building across the West Bank. "In the last two weeks there has been an allout war and he caved in".

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