Meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not only ruled out a new settlement freeze as a condition of resuming peace talks, but demanded the international community formally endorse all future expansions of the settlements in the occupied West Bank.
Netanyahu reportedly told Kerry that if the international community ever wanted to see the Palestinians permitted to build another building in the West Bank they’d have to unconditionally recognize the “right” of Israel to build as it sees fit in the settlements.
Most construction in Palestinian cities and towns is done without formal permits from the occupying Israelis, since those permits are all but impossible to obtain at any rate. This has, however, provided some legal pretext for the Israeli military to go in and demolish new buildings wholesale for being “illegal.”
Netanyahu’s meeting with Kerry also reflecting on his fury at Palestinian unrest and recent violence in the West Bank, with diplomatic sources saying Netanyahu blamed “incitement” on social media for it, and said the Palestinian Authority was leading the effort to fuel violence.