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Israel presses on with settlement plans despite US criticism

Israel presses on with settlement plans despite US criticism

ISRAELI Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich pledged to continue expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank, defying international pressure on Israel to stop building on land Palestinians see as the core of a future independent state. Late on Tuesday, Smotrich announced the approval of a new settlement called Mishmar Yehuda, in Gush Etzion, a cluster of Jewish settlements located south of Jerusalem, and said work would continue on authorizing further settlements. "We will continue the momentum of settlement throughout the country," he said in a statement. The move comes just days after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington considered…
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