US, Israel making ‘significant progress’ on settlement dispute: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday there was “significant progress” made with the US regarding settlement construction on the occupied West Bank.

BEIJING, China (Kurdistan24) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday there was “significant progress” made with the US regarding settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

“The talks have not been completed, but there is progress, and we will hear about it when we reach Israel,” Netanyahu told reporters.

The Israeli Prime Minister was on a state visit to China where he spoke to the media before boarding his plane back to Israel.

On Sunday, Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz traveled to Washington to discuss settlement construction with the new US administration.

Horowitz was accompanied by Israel’s ambassador to the US Ron Dermer to reach an “understanding,” according to the Times of Israel.

President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt, who visited Israel last week, is set to sit with the two Israeli officials in Washington.

Netanyahu and Trump met at the White House in February where the US President told the Israeli Prime Minister to “hold back” on settlements.

On March 10, Trump spoke with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over the phone and urged him to resolve the dispute with Israel.

“The President emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to reach a deal,” a White House statement published at the time read.

Tensions between Israel and Palestine had reignited in recent years, and the dispute over land continues.

On Dec. 23, 2016, a UN Security Council vote confirmed Israeli settlement on the occupied West Bank was a “flagrant violation under international law.”

Despite the decision, the Israeli government approved a law legalizing the construction of homes built on Palestinian land.

 

Editing by Ava Homa