Whether the permits are a "technicality" or not is beside the point; the fact of the matter is that in this increasingly dangerous and volatile situation, in which there have been repeated calls from all points of the globe to halt settlements, taking this step only inflames the situation further. Either it reveals incredible callousness, clumsiness, or ill will, or all of the above on the part of Israeli authorities, remains to be seen. What I and many others sense is that Israel is increasingly becoming a Pariah nation and its incessant evocations of its historial victimization are no longer cutting it, not even with the bulk of the international Jewish community.
Spain investigating ex-IMF chief Rato for fraud (Reuters)
from the article: EU, Obama: Settlement construction could threaten peace progress