Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated his previous commitment to end the Judea and Samaria construction freeze in September in a meeting Wednesday with United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Netanyahu said there was “no change to the cabinet decision to end” the freeze.
He and Clinton spoke in advance of Netanyahu's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.
“It is impossible to take the issue of settlements in the West Bank, which is an issue for the permanent agreement and deal with it separately at the beginning of the direct talks,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying by AFP.
Israel has made no demands of the Palestinian Authority, he said. “We came here to find a real solution without preconditions,” he stated.
PA leaders have insisted that Israel cease all construction for Jews east of the 1949 armistice line with Jordan, including in Jerusalem neighborhoods. If Israel allows Jews to build in those areas, the PA has threatened to drop out of the talks.
The 10-month construction freeze is scheduled to end on September 26. The Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria announced Wednesday that it would resume construction immediately, prior to the end of the freeze, in response to a terrorist shooting Tuesday in which four Israelis were murdered.