Israeli premier says will not freeze building settlements in West Bank


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said there will be no change in the plan to build illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu’s remarks came following a meeting held in Aqaba, Jordan on Sunday, with the participation of Palestine, Israel, Jordan, the US, and Egypt.

The Israeli premier denied reports by the Israeli media that Israel following the meeting decided to freeze the construction of new settlements in the West Bank for four months.

“Construction and arrangement in Judea and Samaria (the Jewish name for the West Bank) will continue according to the original planning and schedule without any changes. There is not and will not be any freezing,” Netanyahu tweeted.

Security meeting in Aqaba

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry published the closing statement of the security meeting in Aqaba, saying: “The Government of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority confirmed their joint readiness and commitment to immediately work to end unilateral measures for a period of 3-6 months.”

“This includes an Israeli commitment to stop discussion of any new settlement units for 4 months and to stop authorization of any outposts for 6 months,” it added.

The meeting in the city of Aqaba was called by the US, Egypt, and Jordan to discuss de-escalating tensions between the Palestinian and Israeli delegates.

The Aqaba meeting was the first of its kind since the US-sponsored peace talks between the delegates collapsed in 2014 over Israel’s refusal to halt the settlement constructions and release Palestinians imprisoned before 1993.

The meeting came amid tensions across the occupied territories following Israeli military raids into Palestinian towns.

At least 62 Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire in the West Bank since the start of this year, according to Palestinian figures.__The Nation