The Israeli cabinet has frozen plans to expand its biggest West Bank settlement and will only revive the project with U.S. consent, Israel's vice premier said in comments published Friday.
Expanding Maaleh Adumim settlement would cut off occupied east Jerusalem from its West Bank hinterland, making it virtually impossible for the Palestinians to establish a capital in that part of the city.
Palestinian officials on Friday welcomed the comments by Israeli Vice Premier Ehud Olmert, but, according to The AP, said they have not been formally notified about this decisionion.
Israel had planned to construct over 3,500 housing units in a new neighborhood that would connect the settlement of 30,000 residents to Jerusalem. However, Olmert on Friday noted the plan has been suspended. "The state of Israel has committed itself to freeze the building," Olmert told The Jerusalem Post daily.