Israel, US reportedly suspend talks on ‘settlements’

A reported suspension of talks between Jerusalem and Washington on building in Judea and Samaria followed Israel’s acquiescence to US demands to limit construction. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said on Sunday morning that talks have been suspended between Israel and the Trump administration regarding construction in Judea and Samaria, Israel Radio reported.

For the time being, however, Israel will obey an apparent US dictate to abide by various restrictions as a gesture to President Donald Trump in his efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA).

In return for approval by the US of a new location in Samaria, near Shilo, for the evacuees of the former community of Amona, Israel will limit construction to within established blocs in Judea and Samaria. If topographical, security or legal constraints preclude further construction within the established blocs, however, new units may be built, although as close as possible to the boundaries.

Meanwhile, Israel’s decision to build a new community for the former Amona residents was harshly condemned by United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.

“The Israeli government’s decisions on 30 March to establish a new settlement deep inside the West Bank, to issue tenders for almost 2,000 settlement units and to declare further land deep inside the West Bank as ‘state land’ all threaten to further undermine prospects for a viable two-state solution, which remains the only realistic way to fulfill the aspirations of both sides and achieve just and lasting peace on the basis of a negotiated agreement between both parties,” Mogherini stated on Friday.

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By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News