US: We didn't green light Jewish settlement construction

Thursday, July 09, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A US State Department spokesperson on Wednesday denied a report in Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper according to which the Obama Administration had agreed that Israel can complete construction on 2,500 housing units in Judea and Samaria.

The newspaper reported that US Middle East envoy George Mitchell had made the compromise while meeting this week in London with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who insisted that Israel could not simply cancel private construction projects already underway.

According to the report, Barak in turn agreed that after those units were complete, Israel would temporarily freeze all further growth of Jewish communities in those areas claimed by the Palestinians.

But State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said the report was simply inaccurate, and that the Obama Administration had not in the least altered its position regarding the construction of Jewish homes on what it calls "occupied lands."

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