Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (Ronen Zvulun/Pool Photo via AP)
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delayed a vote Sunday on an explosive proposal to annex one of the West Bank's largest settlements, apparently to coordinate his policy toward the Palestinians with the new administration of President Donald Trump.With Trump signaling a more tolerant approach toward the much-maligned settlement movement, Israel's nationalist right now believes it has an ally in the White House, and Israeli hard-line leaders make no secret they will push for aggressive action in the occupied West Bank.Education Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of the pro-settlement Jewish Home Party, has been pushing Netanyahu to abandon the internationally backed idea of a Palestinian state and to annex the Maaleh Adumim settlement near Jerusalem.But after convening his Security Cabinet on Sunday, Netanyahu said his Cabinet ministers, including Bennett, had decided "unanimously" to delay action until he goes to Washington to meet with Trump. Earlier, an official in the Jewish Home Party said Netanyahu had been trying to delay the Cabinet vote at the request of the Trump administration, which did not want to be blind-sided by unilateral Israeli steps.Trump, however, faces heavy pressure from the Palestinians and Arab countries against moving the embassy.
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