Israel’s Army Radio reported today that the government has imposed a de facto construction freeze on settlements within occupied East Jerusalem, effectively halting construction of some 6,000 housing units that were supposed to be coming.
The report is fueling a lot of anxiety among pro-settler groups, but it’s not at all clear if it’s true, with both the Israeli Housing Ministry and the Jerusalem municipal government refusing to either confirm or deny the media reports.
The Army Radio report suggested the biggest halt would be in the settlement of Gilo, where some 2,200 units will be effected. This comes less than two months after the Israeli Construction Minister announced a 25,000 house plan, 15,000 in the settlements.
Israel’s far–right has long resisted the idea of settlement freezes, and the media reports suggested that this move would’ve been related to President Trump pressuring them to slow down record levels of growth in the settlements for the sake of the peace talks. Whether they ultimately did or not remains to be seen.
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