Although the United States has requested that Israel stop building new settlements in the West Bank, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has apparently refused to put a halt to those projects. About the best he was willing to do Monday was say that construction might be scaled down “for a temporary period.” –KA


“A few days ago, we confirmed 450 additional housing units. I told the Americans that we shall consider scaling down construction.”

He said Israel would strike a balance between offering a gesture that would help restart peace negotiations and ensuring a “normal life” for residents in the West Bank settlements.

He also said that any scaling down of construction would be “for a temporary period”, not as yet agreed with the Americans.

“The Palestinians expected a complete halt to construction, a freeze, now it is clear that will not be,” he went on to say. “Jerusalem is not a settlement and construction there will continue as usual.”

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