Israel Stalls US Calls for Settlement Freeze

Despite US pressure on Israel to freeze settlement activities, Tel Aviv has proposed a new solution to continue the settlements in the occupied lands.

Israel proposed a joint US-Israeli team to monitor the construction which would continue "within existing boundaries of settlements", Yent reported.

A senior official said on Saturday that Israel will continue the construction in the larger settlement blocs, communities adjacent to the security fence and the neighborhoods on Jerusalem’s outskirts.

Another official claimed that Tel Aviv is willing to accept a Palestinian state with limited authority and no military.

The official who was speaking on condition of anonymity, said that Israel was working to "get the message across that we’re willing to work towards a solution, one that culminates in the creation of Palestinian state with limited authorities…there can’t be another army between the sea and Jordan."

This is while another political official told the daily that "There have been conflicts with various administrations, certainly over the issue of the settlements…There are differences of opinion, we do not want to exacerbate them. We are trying to see where the current administration is headed."

The report came as US President Barack Obama’s special envoy on the Middle East, George Mitchell, will visit Israel this week for a series of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to pave the way for the resumption of peace negotiations between the two sides.

According to the report Mitchell is expected to build a permanent base for himself in the region, which would allow him to monitor the construction of the settlements and dismantling of the illegal outposts in the West Bank.

The US envoy is also said to increase pressure on Israel to ease restrictions on the Gaza Strip and open the border crossings, which would effectively end the two-year-long siege of the territory.

(Press TV)

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