(JTA) — The Obama administration reportedly has dropped its demand that Israel curb construction in eastern Jerusalem.
Israeli officials and Western diplomats said Thursday that the Obama administration has backed away from its demand that Israel limit construction intended for Jews in the predominantly Arab eastern part of the city, Ha’aretz reported.
While the sources said the United States would not condone such construction — the United States does not recognize Israel’s annexation of eastern Jerusalem, an area the Palestinians claim as the capital of their future state — the sources said the Americans would no longer demand Israel fully cease construction there.
The sources added that a deal between Washington and Jerusalem over freezing construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank was nearing completion following a successful meeting Wednesday between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the U.S envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell. Netanyahu denied reports that Israel has agreed to a full halt in settlement construction.