x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Israel poised to announce new settlement building

Senior Israeli official says the country will announce new plans for West Bank settlement construction in coming months.

JERUSALEM // A senior Israeli official says the country will announce new plans for West Bank settlement construction in the coming months.

Thursday’s statement comes a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a lengthy meeting in Rome with US secretary of state John Kerry. The two discussed the status of recently restarted peace talks.

Palestinians consider settlements a major obstacle to establishing a state that includes the West Bank and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war.

Israel has since built dozens of settlements that are now home to about 550,000 Israelis. The Americans typically criticise any new settlement construction plans.

But the Israeli official, speaking anonymously because no announcement has been made yet, says the Americans and Palestinians are aware of the Israeli intention.

* Associated Press