Sunday, September 12, 2010

Netanyahu hints: No extension to settlement freeze - but compromise possible

Netanyahu's moment of truth nearing: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted Sunday morning at his plans concerning the construction freeze in West Bank settlements, leaving room for the assumption that partial building would resume after the moratorium ends this month.

"There is all or nothing but there are also midway options," he said, according to Likud ministers, without explaining.

"I don't know if there will be a comprehensive freeze," he said. "But I also don't know if it is necessary to construct all of the 20,000 housing units waiting to be built. In any case, between zero and one there are a lot of possibilities."

The PM did not address the settlement freeze issue at the beginning of Sunday's government sessionHowever, he referred to his upcoming meeting Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm el-Sheikh, urging the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

"We both live on the same plot of land, yet while we talk about a solution of two nation-states – a Jewish and a Palestinian one – to my regret I do not hear the sentence 'two states for two peoples' uttered on the other said. I hear about two states, but I don't hear two peoples."