CMEP Bulletin: Old Plans or New Alternatives?

Netanyahu Announces Policy of Restrained Settlement Construction in 'Show of Good Will' to Trump [Haaretz]
Haaretz reports, "Israel will adopt a policy of limiting new construction in West Bank settlements to within the boundaries of areas that have already been built upon or in some specific cases precisely adjacent to them, Prime Minister Netanyahu said at a security cabinet meeting late Thursday night. [A] senior source who requested to remain anonymous said Netanyahu told the cabinet ministers that out of consideration for Trump's positions, Israel will take significant steps to reduce, in so much as possible, the expansion of existing settlement territory beyond already-developed areas and that this too would be significantly restricted to allow for the progress of a peace process.”

Israeli Security Cabinet Approves First New Settlement In Two Decades [Jewish Telegraphic Agency]
According to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, "Israel’s security cabinet gave the go-ahead for the building of the first new settlement in two decades. In a unanimous vote Thursday, the security cabinet approved the building of a settlement for Jewish residents of Amona, a West Bank outpost of 40 homes that was evacuated in February, according to i24 News. It must now be approved by the full Cabinet. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump said in February that he would like to see Israel 'hold back on settlements a little bit.' Earlier in February, Trump had said settlement expansion 'may not be helpful' in achieving peace."

Leaders at Arab Summit Reaffirm 2002 Two-State Solution Peace Plan [Haaretz]
Journalists at Haaretz write, "At the Arab League summit held in Jordan on Wednesday, Arab leaders have reaffirmed a 2002 peace plan that offers Israel normal ties if it cedes lands it captured in the 1967 Mideast war to a future Palestinian state. The declaration was issued at the end of the summit, attended by 21 presidents, kings and top officials.”

As Palestinian Divisions Deepen, Arab Actors Seek Two-State Alternative [+972]
+972 writes, “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is worried that ‘regional peace’ would prompt normalization between Arab states and Israel, while sidelining the two-state solution. Yet increasingly, Palestinian and Arab actors are pursuing a number of alternative solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Click here to read the full Churches for Middle East Peace Bulletin, including links to these stories.


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