Israeli security cabinet approves first new settlement in 20 years
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Israeli security cabinet approves first new settlement in 20 years

Move comes after US President Trump asked Netanyahu to "hold off"

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JANUARY 15: Houses part of an Israeli settlement are seen in front of an Arab town on January 16, 2017 in Amona, West Bank. 70 countries attended the recent Paris Peace Summit and called on Israel and Palestinians to resume negotiations that would lead to a two-state solution, however the recent proposal by U.S President-elect Donald Trump to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and last month's U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank have contributed to continued uncertainty across the region. The ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years and is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound or for Jews The Temple Mount, continues to be a focus as both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their capital. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued since 1947 when Resolution 181 was passed by the United Nations, dividing Palestinian territories into Jewish and Arab states. The Israeli settlement program has continued to cause tension as new settlements continue to encroach on land within the Palestinian territories. The remaining Palestinian territory is made up of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JANUARY 15: Houses part of an Israeli settlement are seen in front of an Arab town on January 16, 2017 in Amona, West Bank. 70 countries attended the recent Paris Peace Summit and called on Israel and Palestinians to resume negotiations that would lead to a two-state solution, however the recent proposal by U.S President-elect Donald Trump to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and last month's U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank have contributed to continued uncertainty across the region. The ancient city of Jerusalem where Jews, Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for thousands of years and is home to the Al Aqsa Mosque compound or for Jews The Temple Mount, continues to be a focus as both Israelis and Palestinians claim the city as their capital. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has continued since 1947 when Resolution 181 was passed by the United Nations, dividing Palestinian territories into Jewish and Arab states. The Israeli settlement program has continued to cause tension as new settlements continue to encroach on land within the Palestinian territories. The remaining Palestinian territory is made up of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

Israel’s security cabinet gave the go-ahead for the building of the first new settlement in two decades.

In a unanimous vote Thursday, the security cabinet approved the building of a settlement for Jewish residents of Amona, a West Bank outpost of 40 homes that was evacuated in February, according to i24 News. It must now be approved by the full Cabinet.

The announcement comes after President Donald Trump said in February that he would like to see Israel “hold back on settlements a little bit.” Earlier in February, Trump had said settlement expansion “may not be helpful” in achieving peace.

Israeli negotiators said last week that they would take into account the Trump administration’s “concerns” about settlement building.

Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would approve the establishment of a new settlement to make good on a promise he had made to the Amona settlers.

“I promised at the outset that we would build a new community,” Netanyahu told reporters. “I believe that I first gave that promise back in December, and we will uphold it today. In a few hours, you will know all the details.”

Israel has not established a completely new settlement since the early 1990s, though existing settlements have expanded and once illegal outposts have been retroactively recognized.

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