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Sunday, February 12, 2017
Is Netanyahu Expecting Less From Trump Than Bush Already Gave?

Is Netanyahu Expecting Less From Trump Than Bush Already Gave?
Dr. Aaron Lerner 5 January 2017

Various Israeli ministers implied today that it would be a success if Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu managed to get President Trump to agree to
Israeli construction in "settlement blocs" and perhaps a few select
additional locations.

But that would NOT be an achievement.

The Bush Administration agreed already in the 24 April 2004 exchange of
letters that Israel would be able to build in ALL settlements - regardless
of location - as long as the new construction took place within each
settlement's "construction lines".

It is noteworthy that President Trump and his officials have been careful
NOT to say anything that conflicts with the Bush era understanding -
limiting comments to construction OUTSIDE existing settlements!

Ironically - the comments of the apparently clueless Israeli ministers may
serve to push the Trump Administration to revise their position.

The following is the relevant excerpt of the exchange of letters:

April 14, 2004

Dr. Condoleezza Rice
National Security Adviser
The White House
Washington, D.C.

Dear Dr. Rice,

On behalf of the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, Mr. Ariel Sharon, I
wish to reconfirm the following understanding, which had been reached
between us:

1. Restrictions on settlement growth: within the agreed principles of
settlement activities, an effort will be made in the next few days to have a
better definition of the construction line of settlements in Judea and
Samaria [the West Bank]. An Israeli team, in conjunction with Ambassador
Kurtzer, will review aerial photos of settlements and will jointly define
the construction line of each of the settlements.

...
Sincerely,

Dov Weisglass
Chief of the Prime Minister's Bureau
________________________________________
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