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PM Netanyahu asks ministers to back 90-day settlement freeze

14 Nov

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

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November 14, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) — Netanyahu convenes top government ministers for late-night session on American proposal, asks them to approve construction moratorium in West Bank in exchange for US veto on anti-Israel initiatives in UN.

The forum of top seven government ministers convened Saturday night at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem to discuss the latest American proposal for renewing direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Just a month after he vowed that construction in the West Bank would continue until the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as a Jewish state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his ministers to approve a 90-day settlement construction freeze.

Netanyahu apparently succumbed to the ongoing US pressure following a lengthy meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The US proposal presented to the ministers is premised on a construction moratorium extension for another three months. PM Netanyahu apparently reached an understanding with Washington that the building freeze would not apply to Jerusalem, and that no further moratorium would be sought following the 90-day period.

Earlier Saturday, a close associate of PM Netanyahu hinted at the proposal, declaring that he wouldn’t “bet on a full freeze” extension to be implemented.

20 advanced fighter jets

In exchange for a freeze extension, the US would object to international attempts to force a diplomatic agreement on Israel in the UN and in other global forums, while utilizing the American veto power in the UN Security Council.

According to the proposal, the US would also boost its resistance to the de-legitimization campaign against Israel and to attempts by Arab states to deprive Israel’s right to self-defense.

Moreover, the US Administration would ask Congress to approve the sale of another 20 advanced fighter jets to Israel worth some $3 billion. This would supplement a comprehensive future Israeli-American security agreement, to be signed alongside a peace deal, in the aims of addressing Israel’s security needs in any future treaty. (*)

 
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