Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Netanyahu declares painfull 10-month settlement freeze 'to restart peace talks'

"The government of Israel has taken a very big stop towards peace today."

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announces that the Political - Security cabinet approved the plan to freeze building in settlements for a period of 10 months in press conference in Jerusalem this evening.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced a ten-month settlement freeze at a Jerusalem press conference on Wednesday evening after the security cabinet approved the plan, and said the move was a "far-reaching and painful step,It's not an easy step and we are taking it out of broad national considerations."

"I hope that this decision will help launch meaningful negotiations to reach a historic peace agreement that would finally end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians,We have been told by many of our friends that once Israel takes the first meaningful steps toward peace, the Palestinians and Arab states would respond."

I have said I will go anywhere in the world to talk peace. I said that the main problem is not whether we, Israel, agree to a Palestinian state, I said it’s whether the Palestinians will accept a Jewish state,… a demilitarized Palestinian state that accepts Israel as the state of the Jewish people…

"Leadership is judged by its ability to make the necessary decision when called upon to do so… I committed to permitting residents of Yehuda and Shomron to maintain a normal life, and as such, shuls, schools and kindergartens, along with public buildings, will be built as needed towards achieving this goal".

"My position pertaining to Jerusalem is known- We do not put any restrictions on building in our sovereign capital,and there will be a homogenous balance, permitting Arabs and Jews alike to build…."

"Now is the time to begin negotiations, now is the time to move forward towards peace,Israel today has taken a far-reaching step toward peace, it is time for the Palestinians to do the same."

"Israel's government has made an important step toward peace today, let us make peace together."