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Israel will not freeze settlement construction after Aqaba Summit

February 27, 2023 at 10:01 am

Palestinians gather to demonstrate against the illegal Jewish settlements and deportation policy of Israel, at Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in East Jerusalem on February 24, 2023. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

The Israeli occupation government confirmed that settlements will continue to be built in the occupied West Bank, without any change in Israel’s policy. This was in response to the statement by the Aqaba Summit, in which both Israeli and Palestinian delegations participated.

The Aqaba Summit held in Jordan ended yesterday and announced that the parties had agreed on several matters, most notably freezing discussion of any new settlement units for four months and to stop authorisation of any outposts for six months.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, later tweeted: “The building and authorization in Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank] will continue according to the original planning and building schedule, with no change,” adding, “There is not and will not be any freeze.”

The head of the Israeli delegation to Aqaba, National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi, also said: “There is no settlement freeze or change in the status quo on the Temple Mount, and there is no limitation on IDF [army] activities.”

“In the coming months Israel will authorise nine outposts and will approve 9,500 new housing units in Judea and Samaria,” he added.

Minister in the Defence Ministry, Bezalel Smotrich, pledged that there would not be any freezing of settlement construction for even one day, noting that he “has no clue” about what was or was not said at the “superfluous summit” in Jordan.

While National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said: “What happened in Jordan (if it happened), will remain in Jordan.”

Hamas: The Cairo talks did not mention the Aqaba summit