Rivlin: 'Settlements are not an obstacle to peace'

In a meeting with his French counterpart, Knesset speaker says that settlement construction is just a "Palestinian excuse" to stop talks.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin 311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin 311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin met with his French counterpart, Gérard Larcher, in Paris on Thursday, and told him that settlements are not an obstacle to peace.
Rivlin and his deputy, MK Majallie Whbee had breakfast with Larcher in the French Senate, on their way to the Mediterranean Conference in Morroco.
Rivlin thanked France for its role in negotiations, but said that the Palestinians rely too much on the Europeans, and that they think they do not have to make an effort because Europe is behind them.

Larcher expressed concern about construction in the settlements, and asked to hear about how negotiations can lead to peace.
"Hundreds of thousands of Israelis live in the settlements, and they are not an obstacle to peace," Rivlin said. "This is just the Palestinians' excuse."
Rivlin added that it seems like PA President Mahmoud Abbas is negotiating because he was forced to do so, and can not convince the Palestinians to compromise.
"When the Palestinians realize that it is in their interest, there will be peace," Rivlin said. "The people of Israel want peace and not fantasies."