Israel pushes ahead with plans for 3000 settlement homes

Successive Israeli governments have invested billions of dollars over the past 50 years on settlements in the occupied West Bank, making any withdrawal from the Palestinian territory a costly proposition. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) highlighted the Washington side of the event while Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu topped the speakers list on the Jerusalem side that was spearheaded by Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Our Home) lawmaker Oded Forer meanwhile called on foreign states - none of which have officially recognized the legitimacy of Israel's occupation of East Jerusalem - to move their embassies to Jerusalem, a move that would de facto acknowledge Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

The prime minister also thanked the USA for its support, observing, "America has no better friend than Israel, and Israel surely has no better friend than the United States of America".

Now in 2017, some 2.5 million Palestinians continue to live under Israeli control in the territory, despite the settlements being deemed illegal under global law.

Mustafa called on countries that have pledged aid to the PA to make good on those pledges and for is foreign investment in sectors such as energy, tourism, real estate and industry, in order to hold off a Palestinian economic crisis and make new peace talks more successful.

The event also came just weeks after US President Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) and on the same day that US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made her own pilgrimage to the holy site, where she received what was described as a "rock-star welcome".

"This is Jerusalem. Reunified fifty years ago today, never to be re-divided". "We do not recognize ourselves without it". "Otherwise, the victory in the Six-Day War will dismantle us from within", Michaeli warned.

A rare archaeological discovery of 60,000-year-old Neanderthal bones in northern Israel may result in anthropologists rewriting history.The Neanderthal remains.

"The only option is peace. If we do not, there will be more wars and more people will be killed, until there will be a war which we will not win and the state of Israel will cease to exist".

It was unclear if Mr Netanyahu was suggesting no further settlements would be dismantled in any peace deal with the Palestinians, which would mark a significant change and raise further doubts over future possibilities for a two-state solution. "We will advocate a two-state solution", he continued.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, including in annexed east Jerusalem.

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