Israel sees the election of Donald Trump as the United States president and the weakening of Europe and the disintegration of the Muslim world as a unique opportunity to build more settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
“There is a unique window of opportunity now thanks to the changes in America, the weakening of Europe and the disintegration of the Muslim world,” Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett told The Jerusalem Post at the Knesset on Monday.
Sources in Bayit Yehudi said the party was preparing a list of what it will demand from PM Benjamin Netanyahu after Trump is sworn in on January 20. The sources said the party views the election of a president unopposed to settlement construction and the appointment of settlement-supporting David Friedman as ambassador as a game changer.
Sources in Likud and Bayit Yehudi said the settlement regulation bill that would sanction some 4,000 homes built on privately owned Palestinian land would not be brought to its final readings until after Trump takes office.
Netanyahu also made his strongest statement in years on Monday in favor of construction in the West Bank , giving hope to settler leaders that massive construction will begin when Donald Trump replaces Barack Obama as president of the United States.
Speaking at a Likud faction meeting on Monday, Netanyahu said:
“We will continue to strengthen and develop settlements, and I want to make clear: There is not, nor will there be, a government that gives more support to settling and cares more about settling than this government we in the Likud lead,” he said. “This will continue.”
Head of the Shomron Regional Council Yossi Dagan, who attended Trump’s victory party in New York, said he had high hopes for both Trump and Netanyahu.
“Trump will never be more Zionist than the prime minister of Israel,” Dagan said.
“The ball is in the prime minister’s court. It’s a great opportunity after the Obama years. I expect him to build and build a lot. But then again, I think he should have built during Obama’s term, too.”
Israeli media sources
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