Barak: Freeze decision made as step towards two-state reality

Barak to Labor faction

"The government made a unilateral decision in order to keep the door open for a renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said of the recent decision to impose a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction. Speaking at a Labor party faction meeting on Monday, Barak went on to say that the ultimate goal of the settlement freeze was the "reality of two states for two people, living side by side: a Palestinian state next to Israel." The defense minister also emphasized that the stop work orders would be enforced while remaining attentive to the realities on the ground.