Biden may call for building freeze in Judea, Samaria as gesture to Palestinians

The president may also state that “only a two-state solution” to the conflict would be acceptable to the Americans.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Palestinian officials are pressuring U.S. President Joe Biden to publicly call for a freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria during his trip to the region, and he is seriously weighing that request, according to a report from Hebrew-language news outlet Kan Bet.

Sources told Kan Bet that Biden is considering making a statement that “continued construction in the settlements jeopardizes the two-state solution” and worsens the chance of a permanent peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

He may also state that “only a two-state solution” to the conflict would be acceptable to the Americans.

After the Biden administration walked back its pledge to reopen a de facto Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, which was shuttered by former president Donald Trump, the Palestinians have pushed for public concessions from the U.S.

The foot-dragging by the U.S. government on reopening the consulate has sparked fierce criticism from the Palestinians, who had expected more from the Biden administration after four years of staunchly pro-Israel Trump.

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In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post ahead of his trip this week to the region, Biden wrote that his administration had restored some $500 million in funding to the Palestinian Authority – money that was frozen by Trump due to the PA’s support for terror, including its pay-for-slay incentive.

Notably, the Israeli government has already made a number of moves aimed at clamping down on American criticism and potential backlash surrounding Biden’s visit.

A critical planning meeting for the long-stalled E-1 building project, which would see Israeli homes constructed on a barren hilltop between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem, was pushed back until November 2022.

The original date was just days after Biden’s visit.

The Israeli government also postponed the demolition of terrorist Ra’ed Hazem’s family home, which was originally planned to take place just after Biden’s visit. 

Hazem killed three Israelis and wounded 12 in an April 2022 terror attack in Tel Aviv.

After an eight-hour-long manhunt, he was killed during a shoot-out with police.