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Settler leader blasts lack of new settlement construction

Yesha Council head Avi Roeh says we are no longer in the Obama era, will not
accept limitations on building
BY TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF March 20, 2017, 10:07 pm

Yesha Council head Avi Roeh speaks at a press conference in Jerusalem on


March 2, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
A settler leader vowed that there would be construction in all the West Bank
settlements, and expressed frustration that limitations have not been lifted
since the January inauguration of US President Donald Trump.
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The decision of the leadership of the Yesha Council is that there will be
construction in every settlement. We are longer in the Obama era, and it cant
be that the Trump era is even worse than the Obama era, Army Radio on
Monday quoted Avi Roeh, the leader of the settler umbrella group the Yesha
Council, as telling a meeting of the group.
Roeh was responding to an earlier Army Radio report that settler leaders fear
the establishment of a brand new settlement for the evacuees of the illegal
Amona outpost will lead to reduced construction elsewhere in the West Bank.
Roeh told council members that the group will not tolerate restrictions on where
settlement construction can occur.
Despite hopes that the election of Trump would usher in a new period of large-
scale settlement construction, the US president told Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu during a press conference at the White House in February that Id
like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.

US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hold
a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, February
15, 2017. (AFP/ SAUL LOEB)
Prior to Netanyahus meeting with the US president in Washington, Trump told
the Israel Hayom daily that I am not somebody that believes that going
forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace.
Following the meeting of the two leaders in February, Netanyahu said he was
working with the US administration to establish a mechanism to coordinate
new settlement construction.
However, despite reportedly discussing the issue at length with Trumps Special
Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt during his visit to Israel
last week, an agreement has yet to be reached on the issue.
Netanyahu has been trying to get the White Houses approval for the
construction of a new settlement the first in some 25 years to replace the
illegal outpost of Amona, which was evacuated and demolished last month.
Last month, he indicated to members of his security cabinet that the
government may have to back off the pledge, drawing vociferous protests from
the settlers and their allies in the coalition.
Before the meeting with Greenblatt on Thursday, by contrast, Netanyahu vowed
that he would fulfill his promise to Amona residents to establish the new
settlement.
A general view of a construction site in a new housing project in the Israeli
settlement of Nili, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, February 8, 2017. (AFP
Photo/Gil Cohen-Magen)
On Sunday, Netanyahu chief of staff Yoav Horowitz traveled to the US in order
to continue discussions on the issue with Greenblatt alongside Israels
Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer.
Since Trumps inauguration, Israel has approved the construction of some 6,000
news homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, although no new building plans
have been announced since Trumps comments in February.