Netanyahu associate : Don't bet on full freeze

14 Nov

Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu (R) meets U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on November 7, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Netanyahu is on a five day visit to the U.S. to discuss the ongoing Mideast peace process. (Photo Avi Ohayon/GPO via Getty Images)

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Top seven government ministers scheduled to convene Saturday night, hear about PM’s meeting with Clinton.

November 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was scheduled to convene the forum of top seven ministers Saturday night in order to present US proposals and agreements secured during his meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The US is pressing Israel to resume direct talks with the Palestinians and extend the settlement freeze, yet a Netanyahu associate said “I won’t bet on a full freeze.”Following the US midterm elections, Administration officials have renewed the pressure on Israel, but for the time being Netanyahu has refused to extend the building moratorium.

The PM is arguing that recent construction permits issued in the territories would not affect a future peace deal.

Over the weekend, a senior opposition official told Ynet that despite rumors about progress during talks with the Americans, “Netanyahu did not finalize any agreement with us and did not engage in any negotiations in order to ensure the coalition’s stability.”A senior government official closely familiar with peace contacts told Ynet that “it’s not at all certain that we’ll see a breakthrough vis-à-vis the Americans – the more things progress, the more complex they become.”

Elsewhere, the Peace Now movement is saying that the pace of construction in the territories since the end of the freeze is higher than previously reported. The group said it registered construction work on 1,649 housing units, with infrastructure already built for 1,126 such units.

According to Peace Now, in the past month and a half the settlers almost closed the construction gap created by the freeze, and that most construction is being undertaken in isolated, relatively small settlements. (*)

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Posted by on November 14, 2010 in World News


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