In a move that is certain to draw international criticism, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has approved the construction of new housing units for Jewish settlements in the so-called "West Bank."
Some 3,800 homes will soon be built in disputed areas like the Jewish sectors of Hebron. The approval was granted subject to consultation with the US government.
An understanding between Netanyahu and President Trump whereby Israel seeks American approval for any new settlement construction is expected to bring an end to the routine condemnation that flowed from the Obama Administration.
As part of the understanding, the Americans will no longer differentiate between large settlement blocs and smaller, more isolated Jewish communities. For instance, the small Jewish neighborhood in the heart of Hebron is expected to gain approval for 30 new housing units, a major breakthrough for the Jewish residents of Judaism's second holiest city.
PHOTO: Construction site in Efrat (Gershon Elinson / Flash90)