Ambassador Friedman: There Is No US Demand For A Building Freeze In Yehuda And Shomron

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US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who just presented his diplomatic credentials this week, has already interviewed with the daily Yisrael Hayom and used that interview to state the United States is not pressuring Israel to freeze construction in Yehuda and Shomron.

Mr. Friedman explains that when US President Donald Trump arrives in Israel next week, he will not be bringing “any specific plan” with him. He explains Mr. Trump would like to see both Israel and the PA (Palestinian Authority) sit at the same table without preconditions as the diplomatic process broke down years ago.

The current administration has stated on numerous occasions that it is not going to follow in line with the Obama administration, which tried to dictate policy. He added the president does not view yishuvim as an obstacle to peace as his predecessor did, adding “The president realizes a solution has to be found for the residents of Amona [who agreed to leave their homes in exchange for a new community]”.

Mr. Friedman explained that in 2009, Hillary Clinton demanded a construction freeze in Yehuda and Shomron and this did not bring the PA to the negotiating table. Hence, there are no such demands today and the PA will have to decide if it wishes to come to the table, without any preconditions.

The ambassador explained the current administration does not envision forcing any of the parties involved to take actions it does not wish to, as the decisions have to be made by the parties, not the United States.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)