May 25, 2009 in Nation/World

Netanyahu won’t halt building

Howard Schneider Washington Post
 

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet on Sunday that construction will continue in existing Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, despite a call by President Barack Obama for it to be stopped, according to an Israeli official.

Netanyahu has not commented publicly on the settlement issue since returning from meetings with Obama and other U.S. officials last week.

In briefing his Cabinet on those meetings, however, Netanyahu said he would not halt building or population growth in dozens of established settlements that house about 250,000 Israelis throughout the West Bank, the official said.

Israeli officials say they do intend to remove about two dozen unauthorized settlement outposts and will not establish new settlements. Palestinian officials consider both of those steps to be of marginal significance.

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