A draft bill to annex the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank is on the agenda for approval by a ministerial committee
A draft bill to annex the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank is on the agenda for approval by a ministerial committee © AHMAD GHARABLI - AFP
A draft bill to annex the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank is on the agenda for approval by a ministerial committee
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AFP
Last updated: February 9, 2017

Israeli words and actions since Trump took office

Banner Icon Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the arrival of US President Donald Trump in the White House a source of "significant opportunities" for the Jewish state.

Here's a recap of what he and other Israeli officials have said and done since Trump took office:

January 20: My 'friend'

Netanyahu congratulates his "friend" Trump in a tweet on the day of his inauguration, saying he is looking forward "to working closely with you to make the alliance between Israel&USA stronger than ever".

January 21: 'Sovereignty'

Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who opposes a Palestinian state and advocates Israel annexing most of the occupied West Bank, says a Trump presidency provides rare possibilities.

"For the first time in 50 years, the prime minister has the choice: sovereignty (of Israel over the occupied West Bank) or a Palestinian state," tweets Bennett from the hardline Jewish Home party.

January 22: Settlement annexion?

A draft bill to annex the Maale Adumim settlement in the occupied West Bank is on the agenda for approval by a ministerial committee.

But the potentially explosive move, which could badly damage prospects for a two-state solution, is shelved until after Netanyahu and Trump meet face-to-face.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who also opposes a Palestinian state, protests that the rules of the game have changed.

"We have to tell the American administration what we want and not wait for orders from the administration."

January 22: 566 settler homes

In an initial move following Trump's inauguration, Israeli officials approve building permits for 566 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem.

"We no longer have our hands tied as in the time of Barack Obama. Now we can finally build," Jerusalem deputy mayor Meir Turjeman says, speaking of Trump's predecessor.

January 22: No more restrictions

Netanyahu reportedly tells ministers all restrictions on building settlements in east Jerusalem are being lifted. His office does not deny the reports.

January 23: 'Significant opportunities'

"After eight years of withstanding huge pressures on a large array of topics, first and foremost Iran and the settlements, I definitely welcome the change of attitude," the Israeli prime minister says.

"We're (now) facing great and significant opportunities for the security and future of the state of Israel."

January 24: 2,500 settler homes

Israel announces it has approved the construction of 2,500 settler homes in the occupied West Bank.

"We are building and we will continue building," Netanyahu says.

January 26: More settlers homes

Officials give final approval to 153 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem.

"I'm going to deliver permits for thousands of homes in Jerusalem in the coming months," Turgeman says.

January 29: US embassy

"The US embassy must move here to Jerusalem" from Tel Aviv, Netanyahu says, calling on Trump to make good on a campaign pledge.

January 30: Land expropriation

Israel's parliament begins discussions on the final adoption of a bill retroactively legalising thousands of homes on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

February 1: 3,000 settler homes

Israel announces the construction of 3,000 settlement homes in the West Bank. It is the fourth such announcement in the less than two weeks since Trump's inauguration.

Iran, Mexico

Netanyahu has also said he hoped Trump's election would end the world's "deafening silence" on "Iranian aggression".

And his comments last week on Twitter in support of Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico caused a diplomatic spat with the country.

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