Concession? No more settlement expansion and legalizations, Netanyahu promises US

Israeli official denies move is concession to the U.S. and PA, claims that there were no plans to approve new building or legalize outposts in the near future in any case.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office promised the Biden administration that it was not planning on legalizing any additional new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Channel 12 News reported.

The pledge was reportedly made after the U.S. convinced the Palestinians to yank a UN Security Council vote condemning the recent legalization of nine Jewish communities in the territories.

In exchange for the Palestinians holding off on the resolution, Israel agreed to suspend the demolition of illegally built Palestinian homes in Judea and Samaria, Axios reported.

Israel will provide economic relief, worth some $60 million, to the Palestinian Authority.

According to Channel 12, Israel will reduce the cost of fuel in PA-controlled areas by 50 percent, as well as transfer over half the fees collected by customs officials at the Allenby Bridge.

The bulk of the economic relief, however, will likely come from the freeing up of funds that had been frozen by Israel due to the PA’s support for terror.

An official from Netanyahu’s office objected to the framing of the pause on settlement building and legalization as a concession to the U.S. and Palestinians.

“There are no understandings. We finished all the building plans last week and had no intention of convening the committee to approve new ones in the next three months anyway,” the official told Axios.

The PA reportedly agreed to finally greenlight a U.S.-created plan for restoring the entity’s control within its enclaves in Judea and Samaria, weeks after officials were presented with a strategy for clamping down on terror.

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The entity also agreed to consider re-engaging with Israel on security coordination, after dramatically announcing an end to an anti-terror partnership with Jerusalem several weeks ago.

Despite the fact that the anti-Israel resolution has been pulled from the agenda, Axios reported that “the U.S. will support a presidential statement by the UN Security Council that denounces Israeli settlements.”

Last week, Israel demolished an orchard owned by a Jewish family in Judea and Samaria. MK Limor Son Har Melech filed a complaint with police that she was sexually assaulted by a Border Police officer who accosted her when she attempted to stop a bulldozer at the scene.