Report: US-Israel talks on construction suspended

Talks between Trump Administration and Netanyahu government on construction in Judea and Samaria reportedly stopped.


Trumps and Netanyahu
Trumps and Netanyahu
Hezki Baruch

JTA - Negotiations between Israel and the United States on limiting building in Judea and Samaria reportedly have been suspended.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s international envoy and an Orthodox Jew, has traveled in recent weeks to the Middle East for meetings with Israeli and Arab leaders.

Representatives of the Netanyahu government, the prime minister’s chief of staff, Yoav Horowitz, and Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, met in Washington late last month with Greenblatt to follow up on his meetings with Netanyahu in Israel earlier in the month.

Israel Radio reported on Sunday that the discussions between the Israeli envoys and Greenblatt had been suspended due to a lack of progress, but Netanyahu's announcements to the cabinet showed a good deal of progress in comparison to the period of the Obama presidency..

News of the suspension comes after Israel’s security cabinet on Thursday approved the first new Jewish town in decades for families evicted from the razed town of Amona, with Trump's agreement, followed by Netanyahu saying at the same meeting that future construction in Judea and Samaria would be limited to existing municipal boundaries or adjacent to them, and that Israel will prevent the construction of any new illegal outposts. Education Minister Naphtali Bennett said the news was encouraging, but hopes that Netanyahu will act to implement these understandings.

On Thursday, Greenblatt held meetings with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and the foreign ministers of Qatar and Egypt on the sidelines of the Arab League summit in Jordan. Abbas, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi also reportedly huddled to coordinate their positions ahead of their meetings with Trump at the White House in coming weeks.

When Netanyahu visited the White house in February, Trump said he would like to see Israel “hold back on settlements a little bit.”