Israel announced plans Tuesday for 3,000 more settlement homes in the occupied West Bank, the third such declaration in 11 days since U.S. President Donald Trump took office.
A statement from the Israeli defense ministry, which administers lands Israel captured in the 1967 war, said the decision was meant to fulfill demand for housing and “return to life as usual.”
Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are due to meet in Washington on Feb. 15, when the two leaders will discuss settlement building, according to the White House.
The muted response from the Trump administration so far on Israel’s settlement announcements has been a clear departure from his predecessor Barack Obama, whose aides routinely criticized settlement construction plans.
An announcement a week ago by Israel that it would build some 2,500 more homes in the West Bank drew rebuke from the Palestinians and from the EU. It followed approval of more than 560 new homes in East Jerusalem days before.
Palestinians want the West Bank and Gaza Strip for an independent state, with its capital in East Jerusalem. Israeli troops and settlers withdrew from Gaza in 2005. Most countries consider settlements illegal.
This post originally ran on teleSUR.