Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt to meet with Netanyahu

As White House mulls Yesha policy, special envoy Greenblatt, Netanyahu to discuss planned replacement town in Samaria for Amona evictees.

David Rosenberg,

Jason Greenblatt
Jason Greenblatt

Special White House Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt is set to arrive in Israel Monday for a fact-finding mission which will likely play a major role in shaping the new administration’s policies towards Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria.

Greenblatt, a real estate attorney and long-time Trump adviser, lived and studied in Gush Etzion for a period in the 1980s.

President Trump dispatched Greenblatt to the region almost a month after the president met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Washington, and just days after Trump spoke with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas.

According to a Channel 2 report, as part of the mission, Greenblatt is set to meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss a number of key policy issues.

Chief among the topics for discussion between the two is the future of the US Embassy in Israel, which candidate Trump pledged to relocate to the Israeli capital city of Jerusalem. Since his inauguration, however, the president has yet to firmly commit to the move, saying his administration needs more time to assess the issue.

Netanyahu and Greenblatt will also discuss Israeli construction policy in Judea and Samaria, with a special focus on the Prime Minister’s stated intention of building a replacement community in Samaria for the 42 families evicted from Amona last month.

The new community, tentatively named Geulat Tzion, is set to be built in between the existing towns of Shilo and Shvut Rahel.

The Prime Minister will argue, the report claims, that the construction of Geulat Tzion does not in reality constitute the creation of a new town in Samaria, but the replacement or relocation of the now-demolished community of Amona.

No new government-sanctioned towns have been built for Jews in Judea and Samaria since the Rabin government pledged in 1992 to refrain from creating new communities in the area.

Along with his meetings with Israeli officials, Greenblatt will also meet with Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, ahead of the planned Trump-Abbas meeting in Washington.