Andrew gets his total settlement freeze?

Maybe. He hasn’t noticed. From the AP’s Amy Teibel:

The Israeli government has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in Jerusalem‘s disputed eastern sector, municipal officials said Monday. The decision was made despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s public insistence that building would not be stopped in the face of U.S. pressure.

It remained unclear if the slowdown constituted a formal moratorium or how long it would last, but the move reflected Netanyahu’s need to mend a serious rift with the U.S. over Israeli construction on lands the Palestinians claim for a future state as Washington tries to bring the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

In an interview Monday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled he would be ready to start indirect peace talks with Israel, after weeks of hesitation. The U.S. has proposed talks between Israel and the Palestinians, with President Barack Obama’s envoy as go-between, and in recent days Washington had stepped up efforts to coax Abbas back to the table.

Abbas told Israel’s Channel 2 TV he will present the U.S. proposal to the Arab League this week and that “we hope that the reply will be positive.”

If this is true about an unofficial moratorium, and if it holds for the next few months, how will The Dish pivot to justify its “pro-Israeli” excoriation of Israeli intransigence — hurting the U.S. relations with the Muslim world and endangering U.S. soldiers?

I’m guessing Andrew will just seize on the next trivial thing (ex. fixing the outside of a temple in East Jerusalem) that the Palestinians stake their umbrage on.


UPDATE: Less than an hour ago, AP realized that it might have picked the wrong lede and the wrong online headline with “Palestinians signal readiness to start peace talks.” The link is the same but Teibel’s story is now different. (The old story can still be read here.)

Now the lede is

JERUSALEM (AP) – Israel’s prime minister has effectively frozen new Jewish construction in east Jerusalem, municipal officials said Monday, reflecting the need to mend a serious rift with the U.S. and get Mideast peace talks back on track.

Uh oh, Andrew.

The move comes despite Benjamin Netanyahu’s repeated assertion he would never halt construction in east Jerusalem and risks angering hard-liners in his government. One lawmaker from Netanyahu’s Likud Party warned the governing coalition could collapse over the issue.

Still, the de facto freeze appeared to offer the promise of reviving peace efforts derailed after Israel announced plans for amajor Jewish housing development during a visit by Vice President Joe Biden last month.

That set off the worst diplomatic dispute between the U.S. and Israel in decades – and prompted the Palestinians to call off a new round of U.S.-brokered peace talks.

The quiet halting of east Jerusalem housing approvals coincides with signs that those talks are now about to start – and could help explain recent U.S. statements stressing America’s close ties to Israel.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signaled Monday he was ready to start indirect talks with Israel after weeks of hesitation. Washington has stepped up efforts in recent days to coax Abbas to agree to the talks, with President Barack Obama’s envoy as go-between.

Now the headline is

APNewsBreak: Israel halts east Jerusalem building


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