Israel didn't comply with UN call to stop settlements

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Though carefully worded to convey a sense of optimism, the statement made it clear that the issue of settlement construction remained unresolved.

"The reports concerning Mr. Greenblatt's visit to Israel and any purported US demands of Israel in talks regarding the settlements are false", read a statement issued Thursday from the office, The Times of Israel reported.

"The resolution calls on Israel to take steps" to stop all settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, "Mladenov told the council", such steps were not taken during the reporting period.

US President Donald Trump has prioritized making peace between Israelis and Palestinians, characterizing a comprehensive agreement between the two parties as the "deal of all deals".

Construction on new Israeli settlement homes in the illegally occupied West Bank rose by 40 percent in 2016 compared with the previous year, official figures showed Wednesday.

"A principal focus of the discussions was specific measures that could have a meaningful impact on the economic environment in the West Bank and Gaza, allowing the Palestinians to more fully realize their economic potential", the statement said, adding that Israel supported the initiative. Most countries view Israeli settlement activity as illegal and an obstacle to peace. Trump publicly endorsed a hiatus on settlement building during Netanyahu's visit to Washington last month, but the White House has also said it does not necessarily see the issue as a hindrance to peace.

UN Middle East envoy says Israel has failed to end illegal settlement activity and abide by UNSC Resolution 2334.

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Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, has been a flashpoint for decades, including in the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Trump has said he wants Kushner to lead the peace process.

Around three million Palestinians live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Trump's demand that Netanyahu declare a construction freeze was a precondition for having Saudi Arabia join a regional peace process.

But Trump sowed confusion in mid-February by seeming to distance Washington from the two-state solution-the creation of a Palestinian state that coexists with Israel-that has been supported by the global community for years.

Local sources told Ma'an at the time of the event that Israeli soldiers fired heavily at the teens' vehicle while they were inside, from a military tower near the entrance of the camp, which is located adjacent to Beit El.

"I was really scared and anxious about Sufian", she said.

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