Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Netanyahu Refuses Settlement Freeze, Accuses Palestinians of Preconditioning

On Tuesday, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that his government would not freeze settlements construction again, claiming that the Palestinians have been using a freeze as a precondition to negotiations.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the US Congress (AP Photo).

Netanyahu told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that Israel would not announce any new freeze to encourage the Palestinians to agree to the recent Quartet proposal to resume negotiations before the end of the year.

Netanyahu’s statement came hours after his arrival from New York, where he renounced the Palestinian attempt to get a full membership at the UN.

Netanyahu’s government announced it would partially freeze settlement construction for 10 months starting on November 2008 to resume direct negotiations for a while. The negotiations ended three weeks after they began in September over the issue of settlements.

Netanyahu also confirmed that he wouldn’t interfere in the meeting of the planning committee of the Israeli Ministry of Interior, scheduled to meet on Tuesday to approve the construction of other 700 units in the illegal settlement of Gilo, south of Jerusalem.

The Quartet called on both sides on Friday not to take any provocative actions in order to allow negotiations to start, referring to construction inside the 1967 lines.

“I don’t think there’s anything new,” said Netanyahu. “We plan for Jerusalem and build in the same way as all the Israeli governments has been doing since 1967.”

PNN - Palestine News Network