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2017-02-10 digital edition
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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved. 


 

February 10, 2017  RSS feed
World News

Text: T T T

Trump’s Israel envoy pick, reportedly behind newly approved settler homes


David Friedman with Donald Trump in 2010 David Friedman with Donald Trump in 2010 JERUSALEM (JTA) – A recently approved apartment building in a West Bank settlement reportedly was funded by an organization headed by David Friedman, President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Israel.

The planned five-story apartment building, which will hold 20 apartments, is financed by American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which Friedman chairs, according to a television report Wednesday, Feb. 8, by Israel’s Channel 2 News.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government allowed the building in Beit El as part of the first wave of approvals of settler homes since Trump took office.

In the past two weeks, Israel has approved about 6,000 homes in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem. Most of the homes are slated to go up in the major settlement blocs, which Israel expects to keep as part of any peace deal with the Palestinians. The apartment in Beit El was an exception, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said was approved as part of a Supreme Court decision.

American Friends of Beit El Institutions, which is an American nonprofit organization, raised almost $667,000 for its Israeli counterpart,

Channel 2 reported. Friedman’s name appears on several buildings in Beit El funded by the American organization.

The Israeli organization funded several illegal construction projects on private Palestinian land, including the expansion of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood, part of which was evacuated by order of the Supreme Court in 2012.

The planned apartment building is also to be built partly on private Palestinian land, but could be legalized after the fact by the controversial new “regulation law.”

Trump named Friedman to be the Israel ambassador in December, but a date has yet to be set for his approval hearing by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Dovish Jewish groups oppose his appointment in part over his far-right politics.


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