U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Philip J. Crowley told reporters Thursday that the United States isn’t planning to place economic sanctions against Israel to cease Jewish construction within Judea and Samaria, including Jerusalem. “We are not contemplating such action. Clearly, this is why George Mitchell is in the region today, talking to all of the parties that we believe – about what they need to do to set conditions to resume negotiations so that all of these issues are – can be resolved through peaceful negotiations,” Crowley said. He added that he thinks that U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell’s meeting with Syrian officials will deal with a number of issues, including Israel’s commitment to the Roadmap.
Crowley’s clarification comes two days after State Department spokesman Robert Wood said, “It’s too early” for the U.S. to place economic or financial pressure on Israel regarding a construction freeze in Judea and Samaria.