- Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday to annex one of the West Bank's largest settlements to Israel but gave no specific deadline
- He plans to build thousands of housing units and an industrial zone
- Palestinian officials accused Netanyahu of destroying any hopes of a two-state solution
- Earlier this year, Israel halted their plan to annex the settlement under pressure from the White House
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday vowed to build thousands of homes in one of the occupied West Bank's largest settlements, pledging to annex it to Israel.
"We will build thousands of housing units here," he said during a visit to Maale Adumim, located east of Jerusalem.
"We will add the industrial zone needed and the expansion needed to allow for the advanced development of this place," he added.
"This place will be part of the state of Israel."
Netanyahu gave no specific deadline for his suggestions, indicating that his comments were a bid to play to his right-wing nationalist base.
Maale Adumim is home to roughly 40,000 settlers and is considered strategic due to its location in the center of the West Bank.
Making it part of Israel would greatly hinder the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state in the West Bank.
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The comments drew an angry condemnation from Palestinian officials.
"This is an attempt by Netanyahu to destroy the two-state solution and a clear refusal of any attempt to revive the peace process, especially by the United States," Nabil Shaath, a senior adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said.
Earlier this year, Israel shelved a proposal to annex Maale Adumim under apparent pressure from the White House.
U.S. President Donald Trump dispatched a delegation of top U.S. envoys to the Middle East in August to discuss peace talks, which have been frozen since talks collapsed in 2014.
Trump has distanced himself from the decades-old stance of previous administrations in support of a two-state solution and has taken a softer line on settlements.
Key advisers Jared Kushner and ambassador to Israel David Friedman have longstanding ties to the settlement movement.
A White House official reiterated Trump's position that "unrestrained settlement activity does not advance the prospect for peace," but past demands for a settlement freeze also have not helped advance talks.
Facing a series of corruption investigations, Netanyahu has stepped up his hard-line rhetoric in recent weeks, attacking the media and giving speeches in West Bank settlements where he has vowed never to remove them.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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