United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro
Photo: AFP
Interior Ministry Eli Yishai
Photo: AFP
US: Freeze settlement construction to help hinder PA bid
US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro tells Interior Minister Eli Yishai about Washington's great efforts in UN against Palestinian statehood bid; stresses Israel must stop construction plans to help cause

The United States Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro met Thursday with Interior Minister Eli Yishai, and informed him that the US has been making efforts to battle the Palestinian statehood bid submitted to the United Nations.


Shapiro stressed that if Israel chooses to suspend construction in the West Bank settlements, Washington would then have an easier time in its attempts to hinder the Palestinian process.


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The ambassador requested that Yishai avoid any embarrassments on the issue, to which Yishai replied that the Shas Party would not be able to support a settlement freeze.


The interior minister argued that Shapiro was not only demanding Israel halt settlement construction, but also stop any future plans to do so, something Yishai explained they were unable to support.


Shapiro told Yishai that every time Israeli approves construction plans in the settlements, the Europeans direct their complaints at the US.


In the wake of its deteriorating international status and the Palestinian independence bid at the UN, Benjamin Netanyahu's government is expected to push forward plans to build 4,000 housing units in the area of Givat Hamatos in southern Jerusalem, Ynet learned on Monday.


According to the itinerary of the Jerusalem District Housing and Planning Committee, which operates under the Interior Ministry, on December 8th committee members will discuss objections to the establishment of parts B and C of the neighborhood, which is slated to include about 1,400 housing units.




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