Israel's security cabinet approved the construction of settlements in the occupied territories of the West Bank--the first since 1999, Reuters reported. The unanimous vote in favor of the new settlement in an area called Emek Shilo occurred after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters, "I made a promise that we would establish a new settlement ... We will keep it today."
Palestinian officials quickly denounced the move.
"Today's announcement once again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing its illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability and a just peace," said Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
President Trump, who champions cozier relations with Israel, hasn't yet commented on the move, a stark contrast to his eagerness to respond after the U.S. chose to abstain from a United Nations vote on Israeli settlements in December. By refusing to cast a vote, U.S. officials hoped to reiterate their impartiality in the conflict, thereby keeping alive the possibility of a two-state solution
As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
He tweeted this in reference to the United States abstention.
Most countries view the construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as illegal.
Netanyahu first promised the new settlement in February--shortly before dozens of Israeli families were displaced from another West Bank settlement called Amona. Israeli's Supreme Court said the buildings were constructed illegally on privately owned Palestinian land.
WATCH | For more news you need, check out Circa 60.