White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday refused to take a stand on Israel’s approval of the Regulation Law, saying President Donald Trump would discuss the issue with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during their meeting next week.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu will be here on the 15th. I think that will be obviously a topic of discussion right now. I don't want to get ahead of that,” Spicer told reporters in his daily press briefing, when asked if the administration would take a position on the Israeli legislation.
Similarly, a State Department official refused on Monday night to comment on the approval of the law, telling AFP that the administration was “withholding comment” in the meantime.
"The administration needs to have the chance to fully consult with all parties on the way forward," the official told the news agency, on condition of anonymity.
"At this point, indications are that this legislation is likely to be reviewed by the relevant Israeli courts, and the Trump administration will withhold comment on the legislation until the relevant court ruling."
At the same time, the official called on the Palestinians and their supporters not to challenge the law before the international community, claiming such action would be “counterproductive to peace.”
Last week, Spicer released a statement in which he said that while the Trump administration doesn’t believe the existence of Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria is an impediment to peace, “the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.”
Asked by reporters about that statement a day later, Spicer replied, “I think the statement is very clear about that. We don’t believe that the existence of current settlements is an impediment to peace, but I think the construction or expansion of existing settlements beyond the current borders is not going to be helpful moving forward.”