U.S. denies settlement compromise report


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States denied a report that it would allow the completion of 2,500 housing units in the West Bank as part of a compromise on settlements.

"No, that report, and that Israeli media outlet, is inaccurate," State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Wednesday, referring to the story that day in Ma’ariv. "Our position has not changed."

President Obama has come out for a complete freeze on settlement building.

Kelly added, "This activity has to stop. This is laid out in the ‘road map.’ So the reports aren’t accurate."

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Wednesday said the two countries were trying to find common ground on the settlement issue, but he would not comment directly on the Ma’ariv story, according to media reports.

Israel says the building of the 2,500 units is already under way and cannot be lawfully stopped.

Kelly also said at the State Department’s daily news briefing that George Mitchell, the U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, had "plans to go to Israel soon," but he could not provide a date.

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