Spiegel says that despite Israel's declared freeze on building West Bank settlements, construction continues with the support of Jewish-American aid foundations. "US President Barack Obama, on the other hand, praised Netanyahu for his 'restraint' on the settlement question during the Israeli prime minister's visit to Washington two weeks ago. That comment struck Palestinian leaders in Ramallah as mockery, especially as it emerged around the same time that many of the settlements have the American tax system to thank for their development."