Before leaving China, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that “significant progress has been made in talks with Washington on the issue of settlement construction.” Last week, during a meeting with Trump’s envoy, Netanyahu said: “It is not politically feasible to freeze construction.”
Netanyahu and Trump Photo credit: Kobi Gidon/GPO/Channel 2 News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that “significant progress has been made in talks with Washington on the issue of settlement construction” and noted that the talks have not yet ended.
After the talks on peace, stability and economic development and meetings with the Palestinians, Jason Greenblatt, the Trump administration’s envoy to the peace talks, concluded his visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority last Thursday with a meeting with Netanyahu, which lasted five hours. During the meeting, Netanyahu told Greenblatt that “it is not politically feasible to freeze construction.”
Netanyahu meets with Trump’s envoy Greenblatt Photo credit: Kobi Gidon/GPO/ Channel 2 News
Diplomatic sources told Channel 2 News that Netanyahu was aware of and even encouraged the rare meeting that took place between Greenblatt and a number of community leaders from the settlements. Yossi Dagan, the head of the Shomron Regional Council who himself has ties with Trump’s government officials, warned Likud ministers ahead of the meeting that “restraint and a partial freeze will lead to a political crisis.”
The community leaders from the settlements made it clear to the American delegation that they believe that the Obama administration’s policy of freezing the settlement growth was a terrible violation of the human rights of the settlers.
At the same time, Netanyahu made another attempt to postpone the vote in the Knesset on the Ma’ale Adumim Annexation Law while the law’s initiators continued their media campaign for the application of Israeli sovereignty.
At the end of their meeting, Netanyahu and Greenblatt issued a joint statement in which they agreed that their conversation was “positive” and noted that they discussed the possibility of moving towards an “honest and lasting peace” between Israel and the Palestinians in a way that would strengthen both the security of the State of Israel and the economy of the Palestinian Authority.