Aqaba, Jordan
Aqaba, JordanNati Shohat/Flash90

Israel has agreed to freeze the approval process for new housing projects in Judea and Samaria for four months, and will not normalize the status of any additional outpost communities for at least six months, the US State Department said Sunday evening.

In a statement released following an emergency summit held in Aqaba in southern Jordan Sunday, the State Department said that both sides had agreed to meet again in Sharm el Sheikh on the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt next month to continue efforts to calm regional tensions.

Israel and the PA “affirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and to work towards a just and lasting peace,” the State Department said. “They reaffirmed the necessity of committing to de-escalation on the ground and to prevent further violence.”

The two sides also affirmed their “joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures” over the next three to six months, ahead of the upcoming Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“This includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for 4 months and to stop authorization of any outposts for 6 months.”

The existing Israeli decision to normalize nine outpost communities will remain unchanged, Israeli National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi said.

"Contrary to reports and tweets about the meeting in Jordan, there is no change in Israeli policy. In the coming months, the State of Israel will authorize nine outposts and approve 9,500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria. There is no construction freeze or change in the status quo on the Temple Mount; neither is there any restriction on IDF activity."

Israel and the PA also agreed to undertake “confidence-building measures,” which were not specified in the State Department statement.

The summit, hosted by Jordan, included delegations from Egypt, Israel, the US, and the Palestinian Authority. All five participants recognized “the importance of upholding unchanged the historic status quo at the holy sites in Jerusalem in word and practice,” along with Jordan’s custodianship of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, including the Al Aqsa Mosque.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan lauded the summit, hailing it as the first meeting of its kind "in years."

"We welcome the meeting held today in Aqaba, Jordan, between senior officials of Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Jordan, Egypt, and the United States. This was the first meeting of its kind in years, and resulted in the Aqaba Communiqué, with commitments by the Government of Israel and the PA to de-escalate and prevent further violence."

"The two sides also affirmed their commitment to all previous agreements between them, and to work towards a just and lasting peace. We recognize that this meeting was a starting point and that there is much work to do over the coming weeks and months to build a stable and prosperous future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Implementation will be critical."

"The President extends his personal thanks to His Majesty, King Abdullah II, for convening this historic gathering, and for the personal efforts of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi over recent weeks to establish the conditions for its success. The United States will continue to remain actively engaged in this format with all parties over the coming weeks, including through a follow up engagement next month in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt."