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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders halt to settlement construction
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered on Tuesday a halt to all building in the contested West Bank settlement areas.
The order to stop construction would seem to signal Mr. Netanyahu’s willingness to resume peace talks with the Palestinians. United Press International reported that Mr. Netanyahu announced his decision during a meeting with Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel.
His announcement is somewhat of a surprise.
It was only a few weeks ago that Mr. Netanyahu told Mr. Ariel that Israel would go forth with the building of hundreds of homes in the West Bank, in defiance of a vote by the United Nations to upgrade the status of Palestinians.
Mr. Netanyahu’s decision furthers the wishes of the Obama administration. In March, Secretary of State John F. Kerry asked that Mr. Netanyahu “restrain” from building in certain disputed areas, without asking for an all-out construction freeze, UPI reported.
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About the Author
Cheryl Chumley is a continuous news writer for The Washington Times. Previously, she was part of the start-up team for The Washington Times’ digital aggregation product, Times247. She’s also a 2008-2009 Robert Novak journalism fellow with The Phillips Foundation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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