World Bulletin / News Desk

Israel plans to step up construction of Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank once U.S. President-elect Donald Trump takes Barack Obama’s place in the White House, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday according to Israeli media.

According to Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu says his government will step up its policy of extensive settlement building following Trump’s inauguration next month.

“There is not, nor will there be, a government that gives more support to settlements and cares more about settlements than this government…,” he was quoted as saying.

In a related development, Israel’s right-wing Jewish Home party said it views the election of a U.S. president unopposed to settlement construction — along with Trump’s planned appointment of a pro-settlement figure as Washington’s ambassador to Israel — as a “game changer”, the same paper reported.

According to the Jerusalem Post, the party has prepared a list of demands that it plans to submit to Netanyahu after Trump is sworn in on Jan. 20.

The list includes the gradual imposition of Israeli sovereignty over “Area C” of the occupied West Bank, the newspaper quoted Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett as saying.

“There is a unique window of opportunity now, thanks to changes in America, the weakening of Europe, and the disintegration of the Muslim world,” Bennett reportedly said.

Roughly 500,000 Israeli settlers currently live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built in the West Bank since Israel occupied the territory — along with East Jerusalem — in 1967.

The Palestinians want these areas, along with the Gaza Strip, for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

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