Weekly Commentary: Will Ambassador Friedman help set construction lines
Dr. Aaron Lerner 5 January 2017
There’s been talk about getting back to the Bush Administration’s famous
April 14, 2004 exchange of letters.
And while those letters included some mention of the impact of post 1967
developments on some future deal, far more important was the very dramatic
understanding it documented regarding settlement construction in the absence
of a deal.
The Bush Administration agreed 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”.
And these “lines” would be set in conjunction with the American ambassador
Almost 13 years have passed and these “construction lines” were never drawn.
Will Ambassador Friedman help set construction lines Kurtzer didn’t?
The following is the relevant excerpt:
April 14, 2004
Dr. Condoleezza Rice
National Security Adviser
The White House
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
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.
Chief of the Prime Minister’s Bureau
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