Before Netanyahu met this week with Trump’s adviser, Jason Greenblatt, Israel’s Channel 2 TV reported that he would be seeking US approval for construction of a new settlement, to be located between the settlements of Shiloh and Shvut Rachel in the central West Bank, to fulfill a promise he made to residents of Amona ahead of their court-ordered evacuation. The report said that this would be the first new settlement established by the Israeli government ‘in over two decades’, which could mislead by omission. It is correct that no new settlements have been established by open decision of the Israeli government for over one decade. But two Israeli government reports, the Sasson Report (2005) and the Levy Report (2012), concluded that during that period outposts have been established and maintained, and settlements have continued to expand, by other, less visible means, with knowledge and involvement of all levels of government, from the prime minister and ministers down to the lowest enabling agencies. Settlements illegal under Israeli law have also been retrospectively legalised in that period and existing settlements expanded by incorporation of outposts as so-called ‘neighbourhoods’. Meanwhile, the Defence Minister has been pushing his own proposals for any peace process that may be facilitated by the Trump administration.
Defence chief Lieberman suggests stripping Arab lawmakers of citizenship under deal with Palestinians – Gili Cohen & Jack Khoury – Haaretz 13.03.17
As Trump mulls new ME peace conference, Liberman says the only way to reach a settlement with the Palestinians is by a territorial and population swap. MK Basel Ghattas (Joint List): ‘Liberman, an immigrant from Moldova, doesn’t understand the meaning of a homeland or its native people.’ MK Issawi Freij (Meretz): ‘That the defence minister of Israel calls to strip members of parliament of citizenship only because they are Arabs, pushes Israel even further away from the norms of democratic rule toward a dictatorship that persecutes its citizens and seeks to deny their citizenship.’
Is Trump planning a two-state regional conference? – Ben Caspit – Al-Monitor 13.03.17
In order to “close a deal’’ between Israel and the Palestinians, President Donald Trump wants to convene a regional two-state conference later in the year.
Under Trump, Israel will achieve peace ‘with all its neighbors’, Netanyahu tells US envoy – i24News 14.03.17
The American embassy in Israel issued an official statement stating that discussions regarding relocating the embassy to Jerusalem will not be a part of Jason Greenblatt’s visit.
When Trump meets Abbas: will he deliver Israel? – Shmuel Rosner – Jewish Journal 13.03.17
Trump is mulling a ME peace conference. His envoy Jason Greenblatt is visiting Israel and the Palestinian Authority for talks. The Palestinians seem pleased with these developments. Israeli right-wingers, who for some reason believed a Trump presidency means they get free reign, seem a little worried.