Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Settlements under construction in the West Bank.

"The Trump administration is giving Israel the green light to entrench a separate and unequal one-state reality with more illegal settlements." (Photo: Reuters)

Emboldened by Trump, Israel Rapidly Expands Illegal Settlements

Seeing willing partner in new U.S. president, Israel defies U.N. resolution with massive expansion of illegal settlements

Nika Knight

Emboldened by the new right-wing Trump administration, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved a large settlement expansion—2,500 housing units—in the West Bank on Tuesday.

"Once again, the Israeli government has proved that it is more committed to land theft and colonialism than to the two-state solution and the requirements for peace and stability," said Hanan Ashrawi of the Palestine Liberation Organization in a statement.

"It is evident that Israel is exploiting the inauguration of the new American administration to escalate its violations and the prevention of any existence of a Palestinian state," Ashrawi added.

The act is in direct defiance of a United Nations resolution last month that deemed the settlements illegal, as well as a rebuke to the Obama administration's critique of Netanyahu's support for settlements.

President Donald Trump has taken extreme right-wing stances on Israel, advocating for moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and choosing an ambassador with close ties to the settler movement.

"The Trump administration is giving Israel the green light to entrench a separate and unequal one-state reality with more illegal settlements," commented the group Jewish Voice for Peace on Twitter.

Indeed, the Associated Press reports that "Oded Revivi, the chief foreign envoy of the [West Bank's] Yesha Council, said in a statement Tuesday he hoped the announcement 'is just the beginning of a wave of new building[...] we hope to continue building a peaceful future with the blessing of the new Trump administration.'"

"We are building and we will continue building," said Netanyahu on Twitter, according to Middle East Eye, which reports that the prime minister plans to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank and to eventually bring all settlements under Israeli sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration is also reportedly already in early talks with Israel about moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, bucking decades of U.S. foreign policy and international consensus. "The Israeli right is almost in a state of political euphoria" about the prospect, observes Palestinian author and commentator Ramzy Baroud, while warning that such a provocative move will "certainly and explicably lead to violence."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

... We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

'Congress Must Act': Bernie Sanders Demands End of Filibuster to Codify Abortion Rights

"We must pass legislation that codifies Roe v. Wade as the law of the land in this country. And if there aren't 60 votes to do it, and there are not, we must reform the filibuster to pass it with 50 votes."

Jon Queally ·


Human Rights Defenders Warn Biden Border Policy 'Quickly Transforming Into Trump 2.0'

Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden now being accused of "using racist, xenophobic tropes about immigrants to weaponize Covid-19 against migrants and asylum-seekers."

Jon Queally ·


'Bombshell': Israeli Spyware Used to Hack iPhones of US State Department Officials

Calling the Israel-based spyware maker NSO Group an "in-plain-sight national security threat," one expert warned that "a multi-agency investigation is immediately needed."

Jessica Corbett ·


US Progressive Caucus Hails Honduran Election as Chance for 'New Chapter' in Relations

"We encourage the Biden administration to use this opportunity to make a clean break with previous presidential administrations, which worked to ensure that the 2009 coup d'état succeeded."

Brett Wilkins ·


'The Facts of This Case Are So Egregious': Parents of Michigan School Shooter Charged in Killings

"There were a lot of things that could have been so simple to prevent," the Oakland County prosecutor said of the mother and father now being sought by law enforcement.

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo