Building new Israeli settlements “may not be helpful” to achieving peace with Palestinians, the White House has said. In a statement, it added that President Donald Trump’s administration “has not taken an official position on settlement activity”. In December, Mr Trump criticised a UN Security Council resolution calling to end to such activity.
On Thursday, Israeli police cleared protesters from an unauthorised settler outpost in the occupied West Bank. The outpost at Amona is being dismantled following a court order. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he planned to set up a new settlement in the West Bank for the first time in more than two decades.
More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements built since Israel’s 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this. There are also more than 95 outposts – settlements built without official authorisation from the Israeli government – across the West Bank(BBC,2017)