Report: U.S., Israel Not on Same Page for Building in Yehudah and Shomron

YERUSHALAYIM -
Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The official account of a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and White House envoy Jason Greenblatt on Monday to discuss building in Yehudah and Shomron appeared to be at odds with an Army Radio version aired on Tuesday.

Five hours of discussions did not result in an agreed-upon policy.

At issue is Israel’s stated desire to build anywhere within the “city limits” of all existing Jewish communities in the region. For its part, the Trump administration has agreed to go along only with construction in east Yerushalayim neighborhoods such as Pisgat Ze’ev, Neve Yaakov and Gilo.

Regarding other areas, “there’s a problem,” according to the report.

Asked by The Times of Israel about the report, the Prime Minister’s Office denied it.

An official statement released earlier by the PMO said only that “the prime minister and Mr. Greenblatt continued discussions relating to settlement construction in the hope of working out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security.”

Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud), who had cautioned against assuming too much from Trump in terms of support for building plans, had an “I-told-you-so” moment on Tuesday.

“I think there is a sobering up (on the right). I always said there was no place for celebrations and festivities. Trump is certainly a friend of Israel. But when it comes to the Palestinian issue, I didn’t see a radical difference in policy and rhetoric. Those celebrations were premature and inefficient,” Steinitz told Army Radio.