Israel pushes ahead with settlements as Trump takes office

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Deputy Mayor Meir Turjeman, who heads the committee, said an additional 11,000 homes were planned in east Jerusalem. He said he hopes to get the plans approved by the end of the year and begin construction in the next two to three years.

Israel clashed frequently with Obama over construction in areas it conquered in the 1967 Mideast war, and last month, the Obama White House allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution condemning settlements as illegal.

Trump has signaled he will take a far kinder approach to them.

Trump’s appointed ambassador to Israel has close ties to Jewish West Bank settlements as does the foundation run by the family of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Tax records show Trump also donated money to a Jewish seminary in a settlement.

In a sign of the changing times, a delegation of West Bank settler leaders said it was invited by Trump administration officials to attend the inauguration.

Unlike other West Bank settlements, Israel annexed east Jerusalem and considers its neighborhoods inseparable parts of its capital. But the annexation is not internationally recognized.