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Weekly Commentary: Will Ambassador Friedman help set construction lines Kurtzer didn’t?

Thursday, January 5, 2017 14:33
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Weekly Commentary: Will Ambassador Friedman help set construction lines
Kurtzer didn’t?
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
to Israel.

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
Washington, D.C.

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
between us:

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.


Dov Weisglass
Chief of the Prime Minister’s Bureau
IMRA – Independent Media Review and Analysis

Since 1992 providing news and analysis on the Middle East with a focus on
Arab-Israeli relations



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