Report: Netanyahu freezes Jerusalem construction after meeting Mitchell

Thursday, July 30, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a halt to the construction of 900 new apartments in the eastern Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev following his meeting with special US envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell on Tuesday.

That according to a report on Israel's Channel 10 news on Wednesday night.

Pisgat Zeev is a large neighborhood that is already home to tens of thousands of Israeli Jews. But Netanyahu has been under tremendous pressure from Washington to stop building there and in all other Jewish neighborhoods and towns in areas claimed by the Palestinians.

Up until now, Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials have responded that they will not halt the natural growth of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria, and that they totally rejected any demands that suggested Jerusalem was not entirely under Israel's sovereignty.

But recent reports have suggested that Netanyahu may have been setting the stage to compromise on the hardline position if the Obama Administration made significant moves to help prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

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