Thursday, February 2, 2017
Report: Trump asks Israel to stop construction
American official tells Jerusalem Post Israel's recent construction announcements undermine Trump's peace efforts.
U.S. President Donald Trump has warned Israel to stop its unilateral announcements of new construction in Judea and Samaria, an unnamed official in Washington told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
The official said Israel’s recent announcements, which he said were not coordinated with the White House, undermine Trump’s efforts to reach a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), and also added that Trump is committed to a negotiated “two-state solution” to the conflict.
The report follows Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s announcement earlier this week of the construction of 3,000 new homes in Judea and Samaria.
That announcement came after the approval of 2,500 units last week.
While the construction has been criticized by the UN, the EU and France, the Trump administration has thus far been silent on the issue, angering senior PA officials.
Last Wednesday, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said he was "shocked" by the White House's silence on Israel’s construction announcement, and called on Trump's administration to clarify its policy.
The American official’s comments also come ahead of an upcoming meeting in Washington between Trump and Netanyahu. The White House announced earlier this week that the two leaders will meet on February 15.