Sunday, September 12, 2010

Netanyahu to Blair: We will not Freeze life in Settlements, nor will Israel build massively

(Ynet).Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Quartet envoy to the Middle East Tony Blair on Sunday that the Palestinians want "zero construction" in the West Bank after the end of the freeze – a demand that will not be met by Israel.

He stressed that Israel will not be able to continue with the construction moratorium.

In a meeting held at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said that on the one hand Israel will not build the tens of thousands of housings units awaiting approval, but on the other hand it will not freeze construction and the lives of the residents of the West Bank's Jewish communities either.

The two also discussed preconditions for peace negotiations, and the prime minister said none should be set by either side.

He noted that he is not putting the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state as a precondition and by the same token it would be unreasonable for the Palestinians to pose a precondition and threaten to abandon talks. It's not the way to seriously move forward towards a peace agreement, he said.