Israel Denies it Agreed to Slow Settlement Growth As Part of Mideast Talks

AP/Sebastian Scheiner

The Times of Israel reports: Israel on Wednesday denied that it agreed to a slowdown in settlement construction as part of any future peace talks.

The denial came after the pan-Arab daily al-Hayat quoted Jason Greenblatt — US President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — telling a senior Palestinian official on Tuesday that Israel had agreed to “slow down” settlement construction during formal negotiations between Palestinians and Israel, which Trump will “soon” be calling for.

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was due to meet with Greenblatt Wednesday, denied the report, saying, “There is no such commitment” to freeze settlement building. According to the report, the US intends to facilitate “open negotiations” between the two sides, in which the thorny final status issues will be negotiated separately. These include Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, borders, water and security.

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