Netanyahu approves hundreds of new homes for West Bank settlers on eve of Biden presidency

SourceMiddle East
SectorReal Estate
CountryMiddle east

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday approved the construction of 800 new housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, launching a potentially provocative expansion in the Israeli-occupied territory just days before President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration.Support our journalism. Subscribe today.arrow-rightCritics immediately accused the prime minister, who has been closely allied with the pro-settler administration of President Trump, of needlessly antagonizing Trump’s successor.“The Biden administration still hasn’t taken office and the government is already leading us to an unnecessary confrontation,” tweeted opposition leader Yair Lapid, who hopes to be part of one of the coalitions aiming to unseat Netanyahu in March elections.Israeli government collapses, sending country back to elections for fourth time in two yearsBiden has said he opposes settlement expansion and has clashed with Netanyahu over the issue in the past. The president-elect was known as a staunch supporter of Israel during his three decades in the Senate, and he and Netanyahu have both cited their long relationship in hoping for an amicable beginning to its next stage.But Biden was also No. 2 in an Obama administration that frequently locked horns with Netanyahu. As vice president, Biden was infuriated during a 2010 visit when a government ministry more...