Saturday, November 13, 2010

Netanyahu unveils U.S. plan for renewed freeze and resumption of peace talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu showed ministers a five-point U.S. peace plan that included a 90-day settlement freeze, a diplomatic source said on Saturday.

The principles of this agreement designed to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, were relayed by Prime Minister Netanyahu to his inner cabinet, a forum of seven ministers, on Saturday night and will be explained to the full cabinet on Sunday.

The US said that if the deal was accepted it would not request an additional settlement freeze. The request does not include east Jerusalem.

The details of the deal were worked out Thursday during a seven-hour meeting in New York between Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of their staff.

Should Israel accept the offer, the US in turn has pledged in the next year to veto any efforts by the UN Security Council to impose on Israel a non-negotiated solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, as the Palestinians have requested.

It would further veto any resolutions that deny Israel the right to self-defense or seek to de-legitimize Israel. The US would also oppose such efforts in other UN bodies and forums.

The US administration would ask Congress to approve the supply of 20 additional advanced fighter planes to Israel worth $3 billion so that Israel can keep its qualitative edge.

This defense assistance will be added into Israel's security agreement with the US, so that Israel's safety can be assured. Talks about these defense understanding will begin in the coming weeks.

Netanyahu learned of the details of this deal during his trip to the US, Netanyahu favors the new freeze. The other six ministers in the mini-cabinet are generally split.