Israel’s Ya’alon: After Obama, A West Bank Construction Boom

Occupied: Headlines From Palestine

Ya’alon: After Obama, a West Bank construction boom

In closed-door meeting, defense minister says settlements already the fastest-growing towns in Israel, despite US protests

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told Israeli students Tuesday that although the US has been holding Israel back in some aspects of settlement construction, the Jewish population in the West Bank has been growing apace, and a future Washington administration could enable even more expansion.

Ya’alon made the comments during a closed-door meeting with students at the Makor Haim yeshiva high school in the West Bank and was apparently unaware that the meeting was being recorded. He has had several run-ins with the Obama administration over the years and received the cold shoulder from several top officials during a recent visit to Washington.

Asked by the students why Israel had scaled back its settlement construction, Ya’alon assured them that it was, in fact, still going ahead, and that…

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