JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel has taken control of 425 acres of West
Bank land, paving the way for the possible settlement expansion,
despite promises to Washington to refrain.
While a number of government hurdles remain, officials say there
are plans to build 2,500 settlement homes.
Successive Israeli governments have broken promises to the
United States to halt settlement expansion, defined by Washington
as an obstacle to peace. Ongoing expansion is likely to create
particular friction with President Barack Obama. His Mideast envoy,
George Mitchell, has long pushed for a settlement freeze.
Another factor is Israel's next government. Despite inconclusive
elections last week, right-wing parties are given a better chance
to form a ruling coalition, led by hardliner Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu supports settlements and opposes peace talks with the