Netanyahu, Greenblatt Meet Again to Discuss Security of Israel, Lasting Peace

Netanyahu's statements, as reported by Haaretz, came on Thursday afternoon, ahead of his second meeting with Trump's special envoy Jason Greenblatt, for talks on Israel's settlement construction.

"We are in the midst of negotiations with the White House and hope to agree on a policy regarding [Israeli] settlement construction", he added. "Agreed upon for us, of course, not just for the American side", Netanyahu said at a cabinet meeting prior to seeing Greenblatt on Thursday.

The Israeli leader made the remarks hours before meeting with Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy. Israel's ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, was present for most of the meeting, and the most significant part of the conversation dealt with the attempt to formulate understandings on construction in the settlements. "Naturally, this will be good for the State of Israel since we have not been in these processes for many years. It is not yet open to the press".

"Those discussions are continuing", the statement said. In February, the Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the settlement is illegal as it is built on privately-owned Palestinian land.

Netanyahu is under pressure from his far-right coalition partners to follow through on the promise to Amona's residents.

Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast War and has been controlling them ever since, despite global condemnations.

About 385,000 Israeli citizens live in West Bank while 200,000 live in East Jerusalem.

One of the criticisms Palestinians have made of Trump is that he is too pro-Israel, especially with his promise during the campaign to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and his soft-pedalling on Israeli settlement-building.

Greenblatt has already met with settler leaders which included members from Samaria Regional Council and Efrat Council.

"Representatives from Yesha have met with (former USA secretary of state) John Kerry and others on the sidelines of events, but we have not had official meetings like this", a spokesman said. Israel disagrees, citing historical and political links to the land, as well as security interests.

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