An official in the White House reacts angrily to news report that Israel approves construction of 300 new homes in Jerusalem.
It was not clear if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded favorably to Kerry’s suggestion of a new construction freeze. Israel formerly froze construction for several months in an attempt to bring the PA back to the negotiating table. The PA agreed to talks shortly before the freeze ended, but refused to continue meeting when the construction ban was not renewed.
Netanyahu has reportedly put a stop to new construction in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), but has not issued a public ban on construction, and has not stopped construction for Israelis in Jerusalem.
It is also not clear if PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has accepted Kerry’s proposal. Since the last construction freeze Abbas has announced other demands that he considers preconditions to talks with Israel.