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Netanyahu backs annexation of West Bank settlements

Netanyahu backs annexation of West Bank settlements”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday vowed to build thousands more housing units in a West Bank's Jewish settlement. "We shall build here thousands of housing units" and add industrial zones, Netanyahu said during a visit to the Maaleh Adumim settlement of 37,000 people.

"We will intensify the development Ma'ale Adumim", he asserted.

"I support the "Greater Jerusalem" bill, which will enable Jerusalem and its communities to develop in many different ways", Netanyahu added.

According to information attained by the settlement leaders, a long list of important topics isn't expected to come up during the meeting, including the substantial increase of housing units in the West Bank. Netanyahu has repeatedly spoken of major blocs of West Bank settlements being absorbed into Israel in a future peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 war and has since built dozens of settlements there.

Palestinians, for their part, accuse Israel of waging an aggressive campaign to "Judaize" Jerusalem with the aim of effacing its historical Arab and Islamic identity and driving out its Palestinian inhabitants.

Observers have noted an increase in visits by Netanyahu to settlements in the occupied territories since Donald Trump was sworn in as U.S. president in January.

In March, the Israeli government postponed a new legislation to annex Ma'ale Adumim to the Jewish state by announcing it as part of the district of Jerusalem, a move widely perceived as the result of pressures from the White House.



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