Thousands of Jewish settlers have been granted permits for new homes in the West Bank

Read more: George Packer on “The Unthinkable: Trump, Israel, and a World Unraveling”

Thousands of Jewish settlers have received settler permits for new homes in the West Bank, as relations between the United States and Israel deteriorate further over the issue of settlement expansion.

Arriving in the United Arab Emirates for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was told by Palestinian officials that they saw “no future for peace” with Israel after the U.S. administration’s endorsement of a future Palestinian state.

Officials in the UAE, a one-time U.S. ally which holds two-thirds of its own Palestinian population and views many Palestinians as traitors, told reporters they believe the Palestinians will realize that future under President Donald Trump’s policies.

The PLO says some 4,000 new settler homes have been approved since Trump’s election.

The United States demanded Wednesday that Israel halt new settlement building after a government official said that 5,000 settlers received settler permits for homes in the occupied West Bank. The comments came after the United States canceled a planned meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The meeting had been organized by the Trump administration and set for Thursday in Jerusalem.

The European Union’s envoy to Israel said Sunday that the EU shared the Palestinians’ concern over settlements. The Israeli military said then that it was “our goal and priority to maintain security and stability across the entire country.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office on Wednesday accused the European Union of “fanning the flames” in the Mideast and creating a “wave of terror” in the area.

Mr. Netanyahu met Wednesday with Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister and another close ally, and both men insisted that Israel was committed to peace.

Associated Press contributed reporting.

Read more: George Packer on “The Unthinkable: Trump, Israel, and a World Unraveling”

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