PMO: E. Jerusalem not part of US freeze proposal

Netanyahu's office reject reports that J'lem building may be frozen as part of deal; Erekat says claims PA holding up talks false.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
November 17, 2010 12:37
1 minute read.
Constructing in Jerusalem

building311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

 
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The discussions between the US and Israel regarding an extension of the settlement building freeze did not include any restraints on building in the neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, the Prime Minister's Office announced on Wednesday.

The PMO rejected the veracity of reports claiming that the main point of contention between the US and the Netanyahu government in extending the building freeze has been the continuation of building projects slated for east Jerusalem.

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Earlier in the day, Palestinian Authority chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Army Radio that the PA will only learn the details regarding the new US freeze proposal during a meeting between the assistant of US Mideast peace envoy George Mitchell and PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

"All Israeli claims that Palestinians are torpedoing the [new] understanding between Washington and Jerusalem are just part of the regular Israeli machinations in the blame game," Erekat told Army Radio.

Erekat also said during the interview that the key to peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is in the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

"The Israelis know our position...we will negotiate beginning with borders and security...all other core issues...will be dealt with after 90 days," he stated.

Erekat comments were made in reference to the proposed three month freeze on West Bank settlement construction.



The Palestinian official also called for a two-state solution along 1967 borders.

"I am under your [the Israeli] occupation...we want to reach a two-state solution with 1967 borders...we have recognized your existence," Erekat said.

Erekat's comments contrasted with previous news reports over Palestinian intentions vis a vis negotiations.

On Tuesday, The Jerusalem Post learned from sources close to the issue that Palestinian refusal to return to the negotiating table even if a 90-day settlement freeze is in place was delaying the anticipated agreement between Israel and the US for a package of incentives in exchange for such a moratorium.


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