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Greenblatt meets Netanyahu for final discussion

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Israel’s Prime Minister met the US President’s special envoy for a second time this week before departing for Washington.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted Jason Greenblatt at his Jerusalem office. Greenblatt has been meeting both Israeli and Palestinian leaders this week, in an effort to assess the possibility of advancing peace efforts. The meeting was described as a “positive discussion,” including progress on settlement construction and concrete measures to help support Palestinian economic development.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s office said that they made “progress on the issue of Israeli settlement construction following up on President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement in Washington last month to work out an approach that reflects both leaders’ views” and that “those discussions are continuing”. It is reported that Greenblatt and Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer will spearhead these efforts.

Greenblatt later thanked Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas “for taking time to meet with me this week to discuss our commitment to a lasting peace”.

Greenblatt also met yesterday with leaders from the Yesha Council, the organisation that represents Israeli West Bank settlements. Efrat Mayor Oded Revivi and Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan held discussions with Greenblatt in Jerusalem. A Yesha Council spokesperson said: “The previous administration never met like this.”

In related news, Netanyahu yesterday told his cabinet that “We’re in the middle of a process of dialogue with the White House… to get to an agreed-upon policy on construction in the settlements”. Netanyahu added that he stands by the commitment to build a new settlement for residents recently evacuated from the West Bank outpost of Amona.