Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Jan. 22 he will be lifting restrictions on Israelis building settlements in East Jerusalem. The statement said, "My vision is to enact sovereignty over all the settlements." Immediately after the announcement, hundreds of building permits were approved by the municipal government. According to Haaretz, Netanyahu delayed lifting restrictions for two weeks to wait for then-US president Barack Obama to leave office. (The restrictions on Jerusalem's urban planning committee had been imposed in response to pressure from the Obama White House.) Netanyahu will be meeting with Obama's successor Donald Trump at some point in the near future. In a statement to Reuters, Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said: "We strongly condemn the Israeli decision to approve the construction." Netanyahu and his ministers also decided Jan. 22 to postpone discussion of annexing a West Bank settlement.
From Jurist, Jan. 23. Used with permission.
Note: The settlement in question is Ma'ale Adumim, on the outskirts of East Jerusalem. A bill for its annexation was introduced by Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett. Netanyahu made clear he supports the bill, but said he wanted to consult with Donald Trump before moving ahead with annexation. (Times of Israel) Palestinian Bedouin communities were displaced in the 1990s to make way for the Maale Adumim settlement.