Finance minister says Israel would promote West Bank settlement

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Israel’s hardline finance minister said on Thursday that the government would promote West Bank settlements and punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority in response to Palestinian moves against Israel on the international stage.

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Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who heads a pro-settler party, said in a statement that the government supported his proposal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, which usually announces cabinet-level decisions, did not issue any statements and was not reachable for immediate comment.

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Among the steps Smotrich said he was advancing was the revoking of “various approvals and benefits” for senior officials in the Palestinian Authority, approving new settlement buildings, and retroactively sanctioning some Jewish settlements.

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