Netanyahu: Construction Freeze Not on the Table
JNS.org – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who departed Israel on Sunday for a six-day visit to the United States, told several Israeli ministers that the issue of freezing settlement construction in Judea and Samaria would not be discussed during the trip, Israel Hayom reported.
The comment followed several U.S. media reports suggesting that Washington plans to demand a construction freeze in the areas outside the main settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, to facilitate its parallel demand of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to extend the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations by one year. The original nine-month window for the negotiations ends in April.
“In recent years, the State of Israel has been under various pressures,” Netanyahu said Sunday. “We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security. This is what has been and what will be.”