US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday in Jerusalem and told him that the United States would not agree to recognize construction in the West Bank settlement blocs in exchange for reconciliatory moves from Israel. Netanyahu had proposed the move during a meeting between the two a fortnight ago in Washington.
Netanyahu had conditioned Palestinian construction in Israeli-controlled parts of the West Bank on US and international recognition of Israel’s right to build in settlement blocs.
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Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters that the administration’s response to Netanyahu’s demand on this matter was “a big no.” He also said that both Republican and Democratic administrations regarded construction in the settlements as a move which undermined the possibility of a two-state solution.