Israel PM denies offer made to freeze settlements
Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he never told the US administration a settlement freeze would be renewed after Middle East peace talks restart this week, an official said on Monday.
"We have not presented any proposal to the Americans on an extension of the freeze ... the government has not taken any decision on the issue," the official quoted the Premier as saying at a meeting of his Likud party.
Under US’ pressure, the Israeli government in November imposed a partial, 10-month moratorium on new construction in West Bank settlements, with the exception of east Jerusalem.
Palestinians insist the measure must be extended beyond its term on September 26, while the government faces strong pressure from the right to allow construction to resume.
"We have said the future of settlements will be taken up with other questions in discussions on a final accord," Netanyahu said, according to the official who asked not to be named.
Israel and the Palestinians are due to relaunch direct negotiations in Washington on Thursday, after a 20-month hiatus.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday warned that renewed settlement activity would torpedo the talks.
If the moratorium is not renewed, construction of several thousand homes could immediately start in 57 settlements, Army radio said.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- BSP shrugs off Rita Bahuguna 's jump; says BJP will still face defeat in UP polls
- Navjot Singh Sidhu out on zero to Waqar Younis in 1990 – The match Kapil Sharma keeps talking about
- MS Dhoni reacts in astonishment as Axar Patel takes a stunning one-handed catch - VIDEO
- Pierce Brosnan 'deeply shocked and saddened' because of Pan Masala brand ad
- Sushant Singh Rajput’s former girlfriend Ankita Lokhande’s Karva Chauth photos will surprise you