Netanyahu tells Kerry: No construction freeze

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John that there will not be any official “settlement freeze” on his watch, a senior source close to the prime minister told Arutz Sheva Tuesday.

The PM made the remarks to Kerry during this morning’s meeting in Jerusalem.

In the course of the meeting Netanyahu stressed to Kerry that the root of the current wave of violence is the constant, unrelenting religious incitement from the Palestinian leadership in both Judea-Samaria and Gaza, via official and unofficial outlets. That incitement has particularly focused on false claims that Israel plans to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount.

The Palestinian Authority led by Mahmoud Abbas is a full partner in such incitement, regularly using its TV and social media pages to encourage terrorism against Israelis.

Netanyahu said that the first condition to returning normal daily life fr Arabs in Judea and Samaria was a return to the relative quiet which preceded the past two months of daily terrorist attacks. Economic and other development programs in the PA could not go ahead given the current climate, he warned.

Regarding construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem – which has slowed drastically over the past several years due to pressure from the Obama administration – Netanyahu told Kerry there would be no official building freeze, adding that if the international community expects Israel to approve Palestinian construction projects, Israel expected them to recognize its right to build in the “major settlement blocs.”