The Trump administration yesterday told Israel to hold back on large construction projects in occupied Jerusalem, Israel’s Ynet News reported.
In a meeting held between US President Donald Trump’s special Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the American officials said they did not want Tel Aviv to announce an increase in construction in Jerusalem as a result of Trump’s recognition of the city as Israel’s capital. They added that they feared this would further ignite anger among Palestinians and the wider international community.
On his part, Netanyahu claimed that he was committed to participating in US peace negotiations with the Palestinians, referred to as “the ultimate deal” by Trump.
Palestinians have held daily protests following Trump’s announcement on 6 December which also included plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Five have been killed, thousands have been injured and hundreds arrested as a result of Israel’s heavy handed crackdown on unarmed protesters.
The Palestinian Authority has said that the US is no longer a viable mediator for peace as a result of the move.
The US officials’ remarks come after reports that Israel was to increase settlement construction in occupied Jerusalem following Trump’s announcement.
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