“Now we can finally build,” Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told Agence France Press hours after US President Donald Trump took the oath of office. “I was told to wait until Trump takes office because he has no problem with building in Jerusalem.”
Welcoming the arrival of a new American president, the Israeli government is moving ahead with plans to build new settlements in East Jerusalem.
“Israel’s PM reportedly delayed approval given the opposition of Barack Obama, who infuriated Israel by allowing a,
UN resolution against settlements to pass,” according to BBC News. “Jerusalem’s City Hall approved construction permits for 566 new homes in the East Jerusalem settlements of Pisgat Zeev, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot.”
President Trump’s staunchly pro-Israel rhetoric has left Israeli politicians hopeful about the future. Many feel as though they now have a friend in the White House.
The Trump administration has signaled that it plans on dismissing the December 23 UN Security Council resolution, condemning Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
“The rules of the game have changed with Donald Trump’s arrival as president,” explained the deputy mayor of Jerusalem. “We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama.”
Renewed optimism about US-Israeli relations has electrified officials at the highest levels of Israeli government, including the prime minister.
On Sunday, Netanyahu shared his excitement about the prospect of a meeting between his government and the new Trump administration, thanking the new US president for “very warm” phone conversation which featured an invitation to Washington. The two leaders are set to meet in February, although a concrete date has yet written in the books.