A Jewish man covered in a prayer shawl, prays in the Jewish settler outpost of Amona in the West Bank December 18, 2016. REUTERS/Baz Ratner/
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Israel has advanced plans for more than 3,000 homes in West Bank settlements this week, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's call to hold back on such projects as he seeks ways to restart peace efforts. Israel pushed forward with the plans as it also marked 50 years since the 1967 Middle East War, fought from June 5-10, and which began its continuing occupation of the West Bank.Settlements are considered illegal under international law and are seen as a major obstacle to peace and the so-called two state solution – the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.While the majority of the planned homes are in pre-existing settlements, some will be built in the first new official settlement in some 25 years, Peace Now said.Last month, Trump visited Israel and the Palestinian territories, meeting both Netanyahu and Abbas as he seeks what he has called the "ultimate deal".
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