Deputy PM rejects any new building freeze

Ya'alon says Israel's negotiating position weakened without any red lines; Braverman calls on gov't to accept previous freeze terms now.

November 17, 2010 10:48
1 minute read.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe 'Bogie' Ya'alon.

yaalon office 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon harshly criticized the US proposal to extend the settlement building freeze by three months on in an interview with Israel Radio on Wednesday.

If Israel accepts the request moratorium extension, it will be a surrender to the Palestinian position and a declaration of Israel's inability to stand by it principles during negotiations, said Ya'alon.

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He added, that he found it hard to believe that the US would provide firm guarantees that building could continue in the neighborhoods of east Jerusalem and that the new freeze extension would be the last, and, therefore, whether there would be an agreement with the US.

Ya'alon also stated in the Israel Radio interview his unqualified opposition to a continuation of the building freeze.

"If there are no red lines, we will enter negotiations from a weakened position," he said.

Minorities Affairs Minister Avishay Braverman took a diametrically opposed position to Ya'alon on Wednesday, saying that Israel must accept the outlines of the previous building freeze in order to quickly reach negotiations with the Palestinian Authority over security and border issues and to avoid international isolation. The comments were made in an apparent reference to calls for the government to allow continued building in Jerusalem in the event that a freeze is passed for building projects in the West Bank.

If the government does not act, it may find itself with an Arab nation-state west of the Jordan River, Braverman stated in an interview with Israel Radio.

He added during the interview, if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not overcome domestic political considerations to implement the freeze, he might endanger the continued existence of the State of Israel into the future.

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