Israeli police kill Palestinian who stabbed three in Jerusalem

Hundreds of Jews and Arabs marched towards the Jaffa Gate entrance to Jerusalem's Old City Saturday calling for peace and a withdrawl of the Israeli army from the West Bank.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump's worldwide envoy and an Orthodox Jew, has traveled in recent weeks to the Middle East for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

The European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Israel had declared that it "intends to restrict significantly future settlement construction in view of advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace" but that "affirmative steps are badly needed".

Tel Aviv - The Israeli decision to construct new settlements in the Western Bank for the first time since 1992 would test the efforts of the new United States administration to revive peace talks. Another 200,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem, an area claimed by Palestinians. Following the approval of the new settlement on Thursday, a number of world powers went on to condemn the move by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While several condemnations to the Israeli decision had emerged from the UN, France and Germany on Friday - US officials had underestimated its threats.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz quoted a senior White House official as saying that "Netanyahu had committed to the creation of a new settlement and made a decision to market 2,000 homes in the settlements before President Trump directly expressed his concerns regarding further construction in the West Bank or his expectations of Israel on the issue". "Germany will not recognize any change in the 1967 lines, which has not been agreed between the parties", Haaretz cited the spokesperson as saying.

"The Government of Japan strongly urges the Government of Israel not to implement its construction plans and desist from unilateral actions that are undermining the viability of a two-state solution".

Since then, Israel has built over 230 settlements in the Palestinian lands.

  • Salvatore Jensen