The United States was quick to express concern on Monday evening, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu indicated he is considering taking away the Israeli ID cards from Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem. Channel 2 reported Sunday that Netanyahu had suggested the idea in the Cabinet. He reportedly said that “we cannot continue with the present situation outside the fence,” and suggested that “taking away the blue identity cards from the residents” be considered. White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday said that as far as the government in Washington knows, Israel is not currently considering such a move.
Earnest added that if Israel were planning such a move “it would obviously be of some concern to us”, while noting the “importance of all sides avoiding provocative actions and rhetoric.” Netanyahu had told members of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that he intends to tour eastern Jerusalem to examine the situation there from up close, and that he will invite some Cabinet members to accompany him there, before he reaches a decision regarding the ID cards. FULL REPORT