Israel seeks “understandings” on settlements with Trump administration

By on March 16, 2017


Israel's prime minister said Thursday that he would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump's top adviser to reach "understandings" on the expansion of the West Bank settlements.  (Photo: Benjamin Netanyahu - בנימין נתניהו/Facebook)
Israel’s prime minister said Thursday that he would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump’s top adviser to reach “understandings” on the expansion of the West Bank settlements. (Photo: Benjamin Netanyahu – בנימין נתניהו/Facebook)

JERUSALEM—Israel’s prime minister said Thursday that he would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump’s top adviser to reach “understandings” on the expansion of the West Bank settlements.

The meeting, scheduled for Thursday afternoon in Jerusalem, would be the second between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump’s special adviser for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, in a week.

“We are in the midst of a process of dialogue with the White House, and our intention is to reach an agreed-upon policy regarding settlement construction,” Netanyahu said at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting.

The policy would have to be “agreed-upon for us, of course, not just for the American side,” he said. “This will be good for the State of Israel, since we have not been in these processes for many years.”

Netanyahu said that he will insist on building a new settlement for the residents of the illegal outpost of Amona, which was evacuated by Israeli authorities in February after the Supreme Court found it was constructed unlawfully on private Palestinian lands.

“To the residents of Amona, I reiterate that I gave you a promise to build a new community and I will honor that commitment,” Netanyahu said.

On Monday, Greenblatt arrived in Jerusalem to meet Netanyahu before he traveled to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas.

The meetings are part of the White House efforts to formulate a new solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The last round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians reached an impasse in 2014.

Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast War and has been controlling them ever since, despite international condemnations.