Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned approval of the construction of hundreds of new housing units in West Bank settlements is “unacceptable,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Friday in Paris.
In closed talks, Netanyahu has said that he will be prepared to go ahead with the move to promote Obama’s peace plan and jump-start stalled peace talks.
“The Americans do not agree with [the approval of new housing units] and are not happy about it, but we put it on the table a long time ago,” the source told Haaretz.
The precise length of the moratorium is still subject to debate, and the U.S. and Israel are negotiating on this issue.
The source added that several Arab states have pledged gestures toward Israel, including opening Israeli diplomatic missions in their territory, holding senior-level meetings between Arab leaders and Israeli counterparts, holding direct telephone conversations between leaders of Arab states and Israeli leaders, and El Al flights to Arab airports.
These concessions apparently include granting permission to Israeli civilian planes to fly through the airspace of several Arab states. Each Arab country has pledged a different gesture toward Israel, the American source said.
“A deal with Israel on the issue of construction in the settlements is crucial,” the source added. “Netanyahu’s actions will determine the future of his relationship with President Obama, so this is a crucial trial.”