07.28.2016 | 22 Tammuz, 5776
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JPOST.COM STAFF \
Dan Meridor 311.
(photo credit:The Israel Project)
The security cabinet will not vote on a US proposal for a three-month settlement freeze until the Obama administration's promises are officially delivered to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in writing, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said in an interview with Army Radio on Tuesday.The comments came after reticence by Likud ministers about the US keeping its promises, and Shas saying it would not make a decision on the freeze until such a written proposal was received.
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RELATEDLikud rebels cast doubt on US pledges, warn of party splitUS refuses to confirm offer of 20 F-35 fighter jetsAnalysis: Coalition likely to survive vote on incentive packageMeridor stated that there were four major promises that he expected the US to fulfill in exchange for the freeze extension. Firstly, that the three month freeze would not be followed by any additional US requests for further moratoriums in the future. Secondly, that the US would use its position as a permanent member of the UN Security Council to block Palestinian attempts to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state in the international body. Third, a military package provided to Israel by the US that would allow Israel to maintain a military advantage over its neighbors. And lastly, an assurance that the issue of borders would not be discussed independently of other core issues such as security and the right of return.
Meanwhile, Likud MKs drafted a letter Tuesday to be sent
to Netanyahu, calling on him to uphold his
commitment not to renew the freeze on settlement construction. "Commitments must be respected. We all returned and
promised that after the ten month freeze we will continue building as
before," the MKs wrote, according to Army Radio.Earlier Tuesday, Likud Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin
voiced his opposition to a renewed settlement freeze, stating
that renewing the construction moratorium for three months would
"definitely" lead to US calls for an additional freeze in the future.Begin, believed to be the man who can best rally the Likud’s
right wing, said in an interview with Army Radio that "if no agreement is
reached - the Americans will ask us to continue the freeze, because
they have no other solution." Begin was also wary of US promises to fund the delivery of 20 F-35 advanced stealth fighter jets to Israel as part of the benefits package meant to convince Israel to extend the freeze. Despite Defense Minister Ehud Barak's Monday contention that the jets were more important to Israel than Likud infighting, Begin said the F-35s were a trap.
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