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happening in israel

Israel approves 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank

Seemingly emboldened by the new occupant in the White House, Israel approved on Tuesday the construction of about 2,500 new housing units in West Bank settlements.

With President Trump in office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been pressured by members of his right-wing government to step up construction, CNN reports, and on Twitter, he announced that his country is "building — and we will continue to build." About 100 housing units will go up in Beit El, a settlement outside of Ramallah, which in 2003 received a $10,000 donation from the Trump Foundation, CNN reports. Trump gave the money in honor of David Friedman, his bankruptcy attorney and choice for U.S. ambassador to Israel.

A spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he "condemned and rejected" the decision, adding that it "will disable any attempt to restore security and stability and will promote extremism and terrorism, and will put obstacles in front of any effort by any party to create a peaceful march to security and peace." In late December, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution calling Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a "flagrant violation under international law."