During his meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday night, the prime minister clarified that there was no change in the cabinet decision on the settlement construction freeze, which ends September 26.
Netanyahu told Clinton, "You cannot take the Judea and Samaria settlement issue, which belongs to the permanent agreement, and separate it from the other issues at the very beginning of the direct talks. Israel is not demanding that the Palestinian Authority take over the Gaza Strip as a condition for entering the peace talks, and is not presenting other excuses which may halt the negotiations.
"We are not looking for excuses to stop the negotiations. On the contrary: We are here to find a real solution without any preconditions, so there is no room to abandon the talks on the issue, which can be raised as part of the negotiations, and a solution must be found as part of the permanent agreement."