Change Region:South Africa

PA quashes Netanyahu’s offer of building freeze for recognition

Printer-friendly versionSend by email
PA quashes Netanyahu’s offer of building freeze for recognition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered on Monday to extend his government’s moratorium on new settlement construction in the West Bank in trade for the Palestinian Authority’s recognition of Israel as the Jewish national home, but senior PA negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected the “racist” proposal out of hand. "We forcefully reject all these Israeli games," said Erekat. "The racist demands of Netanyahu cannot be tied to the request to cease building in the settlements for the purpose of establishing a state." Netanyahu had made the bold offer during his speech at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset earlier today. In his speech, the prime minister challenged the Palestinians to continue the peace talks by saying he would initiate a cabinet proposal to renew a settlement moratorium if the PA would declare its recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Netanyahu's comments came after several weeks of suspense regarding how he would deal with the moratorium issue. He said that Palestinian recognition would be an important "confidence building measure" and would send an important positive message to the Israeli people of Palestinian intentions, but he added that PA leader Mahmoud Abbas had refused his offer conveyed through diplomatic channels in recent days. The move effectively exposes the PA’s attempts to set preconditions for direct talks while denying Israel the same right.

 

Share this: