Will U.S. Push Israel to Concede Biblical Heartland?

JAFFA, Israel – The Palestinian Authority has asked the U.S. to impose sanctions on Israel if the Jewish state continues building any new housing structures in the strategic and historic West Bank, a top PA source told WND.

The source, who works from PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ office, said the threat of sanctions would be part a series of Israeli-Palestinian understandings to be guaranteed by the U.S. that both sides are trying to reach before January.

The understandings, the source said, would result in an eventual Israeli withdrawal from the vast majority of the West Bank, an area rich in biblical history and significance.

Last week, informed Israeli and Palestinian sources told WND that despite media reports painting a dismal picture of negotiation prospects, Israel and the PA are still quietly working to conclude a major agreement before President Bush leaves office at the end of the year.

Aside from a major West Bank withdrawal, the agreement would also grant the PA permission to open official institutions in Jerusalem but would postpone talks on the future status of the capital city until new Israeli and U.S. governments are installed next year.

A top source said the PA requested that as part of the understandings, the U.S. would threaten sanctions for any new Jewish construction in the West Bank.

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