The Obama administration reportedly wants Israel to implement a "silent freeze" of Jewish homebuilding in eastern Jerusalem and the mountains of Samaria and Judea to coax the Palestinian Authority (PA) into agreeing to negotiate with Israel.
According to Israeli daily Maariv, the United States wants the freeze to be undeclared and partial. The idea is that Israel will not build new neighborhoods but will be allowed to build within existing ones. Any transgression of these terms will result in "harsh steps" against Israel by the U.S.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) was quick to chop down the idea. "After ten months of a loud and unprecedented freeze, it is outrageous to see that the Obama administration still believes that construction in the settlements is indeed an obstacle on the road to negotiations," she said.
"There is no difference between a silent and loud freeze," she added. "The public's clear choice of the right wing will not allow a second freeze of construction in Judea and Samaria, no matter what statement comes out of the Prime Minister's office."
The PA has insisted that Israel freeze all construction in Judea and Samaria as a precondition for negotiations. However, when Israel did freeze construction for 10 months, he did not sit down at the negotiating table, yet demanded that the freeze be extended.