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Israel, US coordinated on settlement construction

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be able to walk between the raindrops by approving hundreds of new housing units in the West Bank without upsetting the Americans.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently pledged the construction of 3,800 new housing units in West Bank settlements. But in fact, the civil administration’s High Planning Council approved only a few hundred Oct. 16-17. This elicited a bitter argument among leaders of the settlement umbrella organization Yesha Council, who had hoped to obtain many more construction permits.

But despite the settlers’ criticism over the reduced number of permits, they could not decide whether to issue a sharp protest or launch a full-blown campaign against Netanyahu. Head of the Samaria Regional Council Yossi Dagan, who pushed for a more aggressive approach, was forced to accept a limited, almost private, protest against delays in the paving of bypass rounds for settlers to use around Arab villages and other security measures to prevent terrorist attacks.

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