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PM Netanyahu: Settlement freeze issue on hold

02 Nov

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrives at a Likud faction meeting in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

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November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Ynet) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells Likud faction meeting US yet to offer anything in exchange for renewal of West Bank construction moratorium; says unilateral Palestinian declaration of statehood would “exact price from both sides”.

There is no concrete American proposal regarding the renewal of a settlement construction freeze in the West Bank and the issue is on hold for the time being, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Likud faction meeting on Monday.

 

Asked by Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely about the possibility that the Palestinian Authority would declare statehood without Israel’s consent, Netanyahu said such a unilateral measure would “exact a price from both sides” and would not advance a solution to the conflict.

Last week the PM said any attempt to “bypass the direct negotiations by approaching international organizations would not promote a real peace process.” Earlier, Ynet reported that Egypt’s intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, is set to arrive in Israel this week to meet with Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

The visit is aimed at renewing peace talks with the Palestinians, in light of the recent stalemate over Israel’s refusal to renew the freeze in the West Bank’s settlements.During Monday’s faction meeting, Netanyahu said the Americans have not offered anything in exchange for a settlement construction moratorium, adding, “We are not discussing it at this point.”

The premier also said there was no truth to recent reports saying Israel would lease land in east Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley from the Palestinians as part of a comprehensive peace agreement.

(MS)

 

 
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