Senior US official: There's engagement with Israeli government on settlement issue - The Jewish Voice
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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Senior US official: There’s engagement with Israeli government on settlement issue

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By Yoni Kempinski (A7) Senior US administration official spoke to reporters on Monday night, ahead of a visit by US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to Israel and Palestinian Authority territories this week.

The official said that the trip “is a culmination of a year of consultations between Israel and the US.”

“If you look at the first half of the year, with the 11-day conflict in Hamas, the war finished after 11 days, thanks to US policy and involvement,” the senior official stated, adding that “a lot of work is going into making sure that Hamas won’t re-stock.”

On Israel’s new government, which came into power in the second half of the year, the US official said, “We are pleased with the relations built with the new government, Prime Minister [Naftali] Bennett, and Foreign Minister [Yair] Lapid.”

The official noted the “extraordinary connection” between Sullivan and his Israeli counterpart Eyal Hulata”, adding Sullivan will meet with both Hulata and Bennett while in Israel.

On the Iran nuclear program, the official criticized the Trump administration’s decision to leave the 2015 deal signed between Iran and world powers.

“There are honest, constructive discussions. Obviously Iran will be high on the agenda. We share with Israel our concerns, following with the previous administration’s leaving of the deal with no thought. We are seeing Iran continuing with their nuclear plan, US and Israel share the goal to prevent any nuclear weapon,” said the US official.

“I want to highlight that Sullivan will go to Ramallah to meet [PA chairman] Mahmoud Abbas, these were ties that were nearly severed when we came into office,” the official stated.

Asked if the issue of Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria will be brought up at the meeting, the official replied, “We’ve been pretty consistent with our call to avoid steps that will cause unrest in the area. It’s an issue that is discussed and I think the engagement with the current government on the settlement issue has been honest and constructive, but there’s more that needs to be done.”

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