The Israeli TV, Channel One, reported on Monday at night that Israel agreed to freeze all settlement activities, except in Jerusalem, for 10 months. The TV added that Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would present this issue to his ministerial council for approval.
Meanwhile, Israeli paper Yedioth Aharonoth, reported that Israelis Legal Advisor finalized a draft of a report calling for a full settlement freeze in the occupied West Bank, except in occupied East Jerusalem.
The freeze is reportedly meant to facilitate peace talks with the Palestinians, but Jerusalem is part of the occupied territories and the Palestinians demand the freeze to include it.
The paper added that senior American officials, headed by President Barack Obama, and Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell, where informed of the new orders and the Israeli preparations to resume peace talks.
It further stated that except for Jerusalem, Netanyahu and his Defense Minister,
Ehud Barak, vowed during their recent visit to the United States to halt all settlement activities in the West Bank.
This comes after Israel recently approved the construction more than 3000 houses for the settlers in the West Bank.
Israel considers the construction as ‘natural growth of settler population’, an issue not included in settlement freeze.
The Israeli paper added that Israel knows it would be facing harsh US criticisms, especially since the US will realize through aerial photos that the number of settlements and the levels of expansion, are much bigger than what Israel admits to.
On Sunday, Israeli President, Shimon Peres, stated during a visit to Cairo that Israel is interested in resuming the peace process, and in halting its settlement activities.