Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced at a meeting of the Security Cabinet on Sunday that restrictions on construction in Jerusalem will be dropped and building in the blocs of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria will be significantly expanded.
The Prime Minister also pledged his backing for a proposal to annex Maale Adumim, a city of roughly 40,000 east of Jerusalem, despite his own efforts to delay discussion of the bill until after he meets with President Donald Trump, Channel 2 has reported.
“The city [of Maale Adumim] will be under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu pledged, “but now is not the right time to take new steps without coordinating with the US government.”
According to a report by the Haaretz website, Netanyahu also declared at the meeting that all political restrictions placed on construction projects in Jerusalem during President Obama’s tenure would be removed.
Netanyahu also stated on Sunday that approval for new construction projects in Judea and Samaria would be announced in the coming days.
Earlier on Sunday, the Security Cabinet decided unanimously to delay discussion of a bill drawn up by MK Yoav Kish (Likud) for the annexation of Maale Adumim until after the Prime Minister meets with the new American president.
While Netanyahu is slated to visit Washington DC at the end of March, sources in the Israeli government say he is interested in meeting with Trump in early February.
The White House announced on Sunday that President Trump would speak with Netanyahu later that day in their first conversation since the inauguration on Friday.