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Israeli prime minister promises new West Bank settlement 'as soon as possible'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday reiterated his pledge to build a new settlement in the West Bank "as soon as possible." The settlement, which would mark the first new West Bank settlement in more than two decades, is being billed as a replacement for the settlement in Amona, which a court ordered demolished because it was built without Israeli government approval and stands on privately owned Palestinian land.

The evacuation of the nearly 300 settlers in Amona began Wednesday and is now nearly complete, though the process sparked protests that injured an estimated 60 police officers and at least four protesters. "We all understand the depth of the pain and therefore we will establish a new settlement on state land," Netanyahu said Thursday. "Already yesterday I formed a team that will determine the settlement location and get everything ready. And we will act so that it happens as soon as possible."

While Israeli settlements are largely frowned upon by the international community, President Trump has indicated he will take a more lenient approach. Since Trump's inauguration, Netanyahu has announced plans to build thousands more Israeli settlements.