JERUSALEM – The Obama administration pledged to the Palestinian Authority it will secure an extension of a freeze on Jewish construction in the West Bank and a de facto freeze in eastern Jerusalem, a top PA leader told WND.
Under intense U.S. pressure, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in November announced a 10-month halt to all Jewish construction in the West Bank in an attempt to jumpstart talks aimed at creating a PA-led state. Netanyahu had publicly claimed the settlement moratorium was temporary and that new construction would resume after the freeze expires in September.
The Obama administration is also demanding a total halt to all Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem as a precondition to jumpstart talks. Netanyahu has refused an official freeze, but almost no new Jewish construction in eastern Jerusalem has been approved since last month.
A top PA leader told WND in a phone interview today that Obama administration officials told him they are confident Netanyahu will extend the construction freeze to the West Bank as well as the de facto freeze in eastern Jerusalem beyond the agreed-upon time limits.
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