Israel rejects US on settlements
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects United States’ demand for a freeze on settlement expansions in East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
“No way; there will be no freeze on construction in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu told Israel’s channel two television. “Everyone knows it.”
Netanyahu’s message was also delivered to White House officials as a senior US envoy, George Mitchell, will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the issue.
Reports say American and Israeli officials have been meeting secretly to find a common ground on the controversial issue. It has even been reported that members of Netanyahu’s cabinet have agreed to some of Washington’s demands.
However, Palestinian officials argue that the settlement freeze plan is going nowhere. They also state that peace talks can only resume once Israel freezes all illegal settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds).