Netanyahu to seek OK for new settlement from visiting Trump's envoy

Mar 14, 2017, 00:27

Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Sunday that Israel is putting obstacles on the ground, ahead of the upcoming visit to Israel by U.S. President Advisor Jason Greenblatt.

The Trump administration's effort to launch a new peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is meeting strong opposition at home.

Netanyahu and Greenblatt will discuss Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Israel's premier has met with President Donald Trump's representative for global negotiations, reportedly about settlements in territory Palestinians claim for a state.

World powers, including US, have condemned the Israeli settlement activity, which is considered one of the main disputes between Palestinians and Israel.

President Trump told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Friday that it's time for a comprehensive agreement to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

During the call, Trump proffered an invitation to Abbas for a White House meeting.

Haley also stressed on the need for a peace deal directly negotiated by the Palestinians and Israel.

Palestine's official position calls for the establishment of an independent state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, but rampant Israeli settlement expansion has virtually rendered this dream unviable. Against all of this background, Trump's declaration that it's "time to make a deal" is sending anxiety through the Israeli right and the Greenblatt visit is not providing any relief.

But Netanyahu has indicated he would consider Trump's request to "hold back" on settlements, saying that the two leaders have "agreed to continue those discussions [on settlement construction] and to work out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security".

"I'm looking at a two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said. Israeli and United States officials are now discussing what the parameters are on settlements.

Alternatively, Trump may invite Abbas and Netanyahu to the White House, to announce the resumption of direct talks.

Trump intends to visit Israel in the first year of his presidency, the paper reported, and might combine the trip with a summit of this kind.

One of the most heated issues between Israel and the Palestinians is Israel's building of settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory the Palestinians want for their own state along with Gaza.

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