Israel has refused to heed Barack Obama’s call to stop extending its settlements in the West Bank.
An end to settlement activity was part of the 2003 ‘road map’ peace agreement but Israel’s transport minister says the new government will not accept such a freeze. Yisrael Katz was referring to what he called “legal” settlements that were built with government backing. Israeli officials differentiate these from so-called wildcat outposts set up by settlers acting alone. The wider international community, including the EU and the UN Security Council, say all settlements are illegal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the wildcat outposts will be dismantled but that the official ones need to be expanded to support natural population growth.