Just a month after he vowed that construction in the West Bank would continue until the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his ministers to approve a 90-day settlement construction freeze.
Netanyahu apparently succumbed to the ongoing US pressure following a lengthy meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The US proposal presented to the ministers is premised on a construction moratorium extension for another three months. PM Netanyahu apparently reached an understanding with Washington that the building freeze would not apply to Jerusalem, and that no further moratorium would be sought following the 90-day period.
Earlier Saturday, a close associate of PM Netanyahu hinted at the proposal, declaring that he wouldn't "bet on a full freeze" extension to be implemented.
20 advanced fighter jetsIn exchange for a freeze extension, the US would object to international attempts to force a diplomatic agreement on Israel in the UN and in other global forums, while utilizing the American veto power in the UN Security Council.
According to the proposal, the US would also boost its resistance to the de-legitimization campaign against Israel and to attempts by Arab states to deprive Israel's right to self-defense.
Moreover, the US Administration would ask Congress to approve the sale of another 20 advanced fighter jets to Israel worth some $3 billion. This would supplement a comprehensive future Israeli-American security agreement, to be signed alongside a peace deal, in the aims of addressing Israel's security needs in any future treaty.
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