Israel denies it agreed to halt settlement construction, counterterror raids

“Israel will authorize nine outposts and approve 9,500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria.”

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi on Sunday evening dismissed reports of a change in Israeli policy regarding settlement construction following a rare summit in Jordan with Palestinian officials earlier in the day.

Hanegbi also said there would be “no change to the status quo on the Temple Mount,” which is administered by Jordan’s Islamic Waqf.

“Contrary to reports and tweets about the meeting in Jordan, there is no change in Israeli policy. In the coming months, the State of Israel will authorize nine outposts and approve 9,500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria,” he said.

“There is no construction freeze or change in the status quo on the Temple Mount; neither is there any restriction on IDF activity,” he added.

His remarks contradicts an earlier statement issued from the the Aqaba summit that said that Israel and the PA “confirmed their joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months.”

It added that “this includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for four months and to stop authorization of any outposts for six months.”

According to earlier reports, representatives for the Palestinian Authority had demanded at summit that the IDF cease counterterror arrest raids in Shechem (Nablus) and Jenin and other PA-controlled cities.

The summit, which had representatives from five countries including the U.S. and Egypt, was an attempt to calm tensions amid an ongoing Palestinian terror wave that has seen dozens of Israelis killed in recent months and resulted in counterterror operations in Judea and Samaria.

During the summit, a Palestinian shooting attack claimed the lives of 22-year-old Hillel Menachem Yaniv and his 19-year-old brother, Yagel Yaakov Yaniv.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich dismissed the outcome of the summit as “redundant.”

“One thing I do know: there will not be a freeze in the construction and development of settlements, not even for one day ,” he said.

“The IDF will continue with counterterror activities in all areas of Judea and Samaria without any limitations. It’s very simple,” he added.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan hailed the meeting a welcome “starting point.”

“There is much work to do over the coming weeks and months to build a stable and prosperous future for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he said.