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Israel Settlements: Netanyahu Vows To Continue Settlement Construction

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ISRAEL SETTLEMENTS NETANYAHU
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, Sunday, July 1, 2012. (AP Photo/Abir Sultan, Pool) | AP

JERUSALEM — Israel's prime minister says his government will continue settlement construction in the West Bank.

A participant in a closed meeting of parliament's powerful Defense and Foreign Affairs committee said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Monday to continue developing areas near Jerusalem, deep inside the West Bank and in the Jordan Valley.

The Israeli leader struck a defiant note on settlements days after Israel evacuated a West Bank outpost ruled illegal by Israel's Supreme Court.

The meeting participant spoke on condition of anonymity because the session was closed.

The international community, including the U.S., opposes Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians claim those areas for a state, along with the Gaza Strip, which Israel evacuated in 2005.