Israel has reportedly reached agreements with the Palestinians to delay respective unilateral actions by several months, with the aim of lowering tensions in the West Bank during the sensitive month of Ramadan.
According to the Walla news site, which cites two Israeli sources with knowledge of the matter, the understandings have been reached under heavy pressure from the United States.
The Palestinian Authority will reportedly delay its motion to call a UN Security Council vote tomorrow against Israel’s settlement expansion — which Washington wants to avoid vetoing since it supports its content, and also since it fears a veto could in itself inflame tensions.
Instead, the Security Council members are said to be preparing a symbolic, non-binding statement. This statement would include a condemnation of both settlement construction and recent Palestinian terror attacks.
In return, the report says, Jerusalem has promised to postpone the approval of additional construction in West Bank settlements by several months, in addition to pushing off planned demolitions of Palestinian homes built without permits in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, delay evictions of Palestinians, and lower the number of IDF raids in Palestinian cities.
The outlet says senior American officials, including in the State Department, have confirmed that understandings have been reached on delaying the Security Council vote “until further notice,” following mediation by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
An Israeli diplomatic source claims there are no understandings and that all settlement construction plans for the coming months were approved last week in a meeting of a planning committee that anyway wasn’t planned to reconvene over the next three months.