Netanyahu: No agreement yet with US on construction

PM Netanyahu's office says no agreement yet on subject of construction in Judea, Samaria.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Binyamin Netanyahu and Jason Greenblatt
Binyamin Netanyahu and Jason Greenblatt

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office on Saturday night responded to Channel 2's reports claiming US President Donald Trump opposed building outside of existing settlement blocs in exchange for agreeing to allow the building of a new town for Amona expellees.

According to the reports, a final US policy regarding building in Judea and Samaria is in the works, and offers unlimited building in Judea and Samaria - as long as it remains within the settlement blocs.

Sources close to Netanyahu said the report was "inaccurate," and later an official notice was published.

Knesset Eretz Yisrael Lobby heads MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) and MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) said they would oppose any attempts to make a "deal" regarding building a new town for Amona's expellees in exchange for freezing construction in Judea and Samaria.

The Eretz Yisrael Lobby is a body of 40 Knesset members who push for Jewish presence in all of Israel.

"If these are the White House's suggestions - it's obvious why there have been no agreements yet. This kind of 'deal' will not pass in this coalition," Kisch and Smotrich said. "Restricting building to the existing settlement blocs, and setting limits for how many homes can be built is something leftist governments do, and in opposition to our obligations to our voters."

"It's time we renewed our efforts to help Judea and Samaria grow, and it's time we advanced the process of applying sovereignty to the area."

Both the Trump administration and the Israeli government have said no agreement on the subject has been reached yet.

"The United States delegation reiterated President Trump’s concerns regarding settlement activity in the context of moving towards a peace agreement," read a joint readout from the White House and the Israeli government on Friday. The Israeli delegation made clear that Israel’s intent going forward is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes those concerns into consideration.

"The talks were serious and constructive, and they are ongoing,"