Sunday, May 26, 2013

No Freeze

In the past, I expressed concern that Benjamin Netanyahu, under pressure, would perhaps reconsider a "settlement freeze".

And I've leanred:

Source: Netanyahu will not freeze West Bank settlements

An official source in Jerusalem says that despite US Secretary of State John Kerry's urging for Israel to voluntarily halt settlement activity, the prime minister will not announce a building freeze in the West Bank..."Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] received this opportunity once. This will not happen again,"

"If the Palestinians want to talk they know we are waiting for them at the table," the source said.

...Kerry urged Israel to voluntarily halt settlement activity, but added that the demand for such a freeze, as a pre-condition to direct talks, was not helpful.

“We are trying to get to talks without pre-conditions,” said Kerry. We do not want to get stuck in a place where we are arguing about a particular substantive issue that is part of a final settlement that and that argument takes you so long, that you never get to the negotiations that bring about the final settlement,” Kerry said.

The Palestinians insist that they would not talk with Israel until it had halted West Bank settlement activity and Jewish building in east Jerusalem.

Israel has refused to cede to that request and has insisted that talks should be held without pre-conditions.

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