Media reports: Israeli PM orders settlement slowdown

Done as a gesture to President Trump
Posted at 9:04 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 21:04:38-04

Israeli media are reporting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a slowdown of settlement construction as a gesture to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Haaretz and other media on Friday reported Netanyahu announced the policy at a meeting the night before in which his Cabinet approved the first West Bank settlement in two decades as compensation for a settler outpost demolished in February.

Netanyahu told ministers to take Trump's position "into consideration" and said construction will be limited to settlement boundaries with no new outposts allowed.

Trump had indicated he would be more sympathetic to settlements than predecessor Barak Obama and the international community, who consider them illegal. But he appears to have backpedaled since taking office.

AP-WF-03-31-17 2320GMT