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Feb 7, 2023

the winter might bring a building freeze

The news has reported that the USA, during the visit of Secretary of State Anthony Blinken last week to Israel, requested of Israel to freeze construction in Judea and Samaria, aka the West Bank, for several months.

This construction freeze would be accompanied by some other goodwill measures on both sides, Israel and the Palestinian Authority, in an effort to lower tensions in the region. Some of those other goodwill measures would be Israel not dismantling illegal construction of Palestinians and Israel not evicting Palestinians from homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The Palestinians would have to agree to put an end to any motions filed in international courts against Israel and renew security coordination with Israel. 

According to Walla News, Israel has responded positively to the request in a general sense, being noncommittal on the specific requests but generally agreeing to taking steps to lower the tensions and minimize activities the Biden administration opposes, but they cannot be frozen completely, especially construction in Judea and Samaria.

Minister of Finance Betzalel Smotritch party today said in response to the news that there will be no building freeze in Judea and Samaria. The Prime Minister's Office has not yet responded publicly to the news report.

The only Prime Minister to ever agree to a full building freeze in Judea and Samaria was Netanyahu, when President Obama requested/demanded it. If he agrees to a similar request now with his current political partners it might be political suicide. We'll soon see what happens this time. No matter what he decides to do he is going to upset people he can't really afford to - either the Biden administration or Smotritch and Ben Gvir.

We are in a cold spell right now, but this isnt the type of freeze we were expecting.

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