Yacimovich: Labor will join government only if serious peace agreement emerges

Opposition leader slams government for releasing Palestinian prisoners, but at the same time advancing settlement construction.

Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Labor party chairwoman Shelly Yacimovich 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor) criticized Israel's government on Saturday for releasing Palestinian prisoners on the one hand, but advancing construction in settlements on the other hand.
"The government's actions this week regarding the painful move to release [Palestinian] prisoners on the one hand, and neutralizing it on the other hand by building in the settlements show irrationality, lack of good intentions and an intentional attempt to sabotage any progress in the peace talks," she said, speaking at a cultural event in Shoham.
She singled out Bayit Yehudi, saying that despite the fact they were a part of a deal to advance settlement construction in return for freeing prisoners, "they complain of being wronged and go out to protest against the government they are members in, and against decisions they were a part in making."
Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett denied that his party was offered the options of either a settlement construction freeze or a prisoner release.
Yacimovich reiterated her willingness to join the government to serve as a "safety net" for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in the event Bayit Yehudi decides to quit the coalition in light of "a [serious] diplomatic accord."
She stressed, though, that Labor will remain in the opposition unless a serious peace agreement does emerge, and that she "won't repeat the bitter political and moral mistake" she made in the past when she "crawled into Netanyahu's government and served as a fig leaf to a social and economic policy that abuses the public, and to diplomatic stagnation."