According to details of a draft agreement between Israel and the US on a 90-day settlement construction freeze, the US will not demand any further freeze when the moratorium comes to an end, Ynet has learned.
Jerusalem, however, is not mentioned in the document despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presenting this issue as an achievement. Meanwhile, the prime minister's narrow majority in the cabinet is in danger due to Shas' demands.
Earlier, Ynet reported on secret meetings between Netanyahu and his staff and senior Shas representatives. The haredi party is demanding the exact details of housing construction to be permitted in Jerusalem during the moratorium in return for its support in the cabinet. Shas expects Netanyahu to present such details to the US and obtain its blessing – even if this is verbal alone.
Shas is also demanding that Defense Minister Ehud Barak approve building in the West Bank immediately after the freeze period. Party representatives say that Barak has not signed any such permits since the current government was formed.
Sources close to Shas Chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai said earlier that it was likely Shas would vote against the moratorium as opposed to abstaining. One senior source noted that the issue of Jerusalem was critical to the prime minister, and that great efforts were being made to deal with this issue.
Meanwhile, efforts are being made to reach a compromise Wednesday night and formulate a draft to bring before the cabinet Thursday for final ratification.
According to the draft, construction will be banned at various sites during the freeze, but as noted, Jerusalem is not mentioned. A paragraph on security issues has not yet been agreed to, while the US aid package is yet to be formulated; there are still differences between the sides on this issue.
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