As Amona was being evacuated, for the third time in the week Israel announced massive settlement construction, including some well outside the so-called ‘settlement blocs’. Netanyahu told Knesset members the announcements are just ‘a taste’. ‘We are going to be doing many things differently from now on.’ But Trump’s response suggests Netanyahu may have got ahead of himself before their meeting on 15 February.
Court kills plan to move Amona settlers to nearby hillside; Netanyahu vows new settlement – Yotam Berger, Barak Ravid & Jonathan Lis – Haaretz 02.02.17
If plan is carried out, new settlement would be first openly established by the government in more than 20 years. [‘Openly’ because the Sasson and Levy Reports concluded that all levels of government, from the prime minister down, had been involved in that period in the establishment and maintenance of outposts. Settlement expansion has also continued in that period by, inter alia, retrospective legalisation and the incorporation of so-called ‘neighbourhoods’.]
France ‘bitterly condemns’ latest settlement construction plan – Sue Surkes/AFP – The Times of Israel 01.02.17
‘Within a week they [the Israelis] have announced [plans for] 6,000 housing units, twice as many as those approved for construction through the whole of 2016.’
Settlements and ‘The ultimate deal’: Trump’s surprising statement on Israel in context – Amir Tibon – Haaretz 03.02.17
What’s new – and what isn’t – in Trump’s statement on Israel’s settlement building. Dr. Michael Koplow, policy director at the Israeli Policy Forum, said the White House’s position was ‘encouraging’, and that it ‘reveals just how far out on a limb Netanyahu has gone on his own.’