Blinken urges Bennett to halt 'settlement activity'


Staff member
Blinken urges Bennett to halt 'settlement activity'
State Department spokesperson says that Secretary of State urged PM to refrain from unilateral steps during their conversation.
Elad Benari , Dec 03 , 2021

US State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Thursday commented on the conversation between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. Price said that the two affirmed the strong US-Israel partnership and discussed regional security issues, including Iran and the ongoing talks in Vienna concerning Iran’s nuclear program, as well as the global challenge posed by COVID-19. “The Secretary also strongly emphasized that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should refrain from unilateral steps that exacerbate tensions and undercut efforts to advance a negotiated two-state solution, including advancing settlement activity,” added the State Department spokesperson.

Earlier on Thursday, a diplomatic source said the conversation between Bennett and Blinken “was a long, complicated discussion, 90% of which focused on Iran.” The source added that Bennett spoke about Iran's ongoing violations of the 2015 nuclear deal, and its nuclear provocations within the negotiations. He said that the solution is not to allow blackmail, and instead to force the Iranians to immediately pay a price for their blackmail attempts. The source noted that on the issue of construction in Atarot, near Jerusalem, Bennett said the decision had been made by Jerusalem's District Committee, and that it had not yet reached the diplomatic echelon.