'Freeze may be nixed if PA won't talk'

Freeze may be nixed if

steinitz 248.88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
steinitz 248.88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, who voted in favor of the West Bank construction moratorium in the security cabinet on November 25, said Sunday night that he would soon demand a revote if the Palestinian Authority continues to reject negotiations. Speaking at a rally of his supporters in Or Yehuda, Steinitz said that he backed the freeze because he wanted to support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and grant him flexibility at a challenging time. But the finance minister said that the Palestinians' credit was limited. "If the Palestinian side, instead of accepting our outstretched hand, continues to give us the cold shoulder, attack us internationally and advance the Goldstone Report, we will return to the security cabinet to reconsider the freeze," Steinitz told the crowd of some 500 supporters. "We won't turn our cheek and continue to make down payments and receive in return nothing but incitement and a cold shoulder." Steinitz also praised Sunday's vote in favor of a revised map of national priorities that includes isolated settlements in Judea and Samaria. "The vote today said to the settlers: We are with you, and you will get our support in one way or another," Steinitz said. The former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee slammed the security agreement signed over the weekend by Iran and Syria. He said he backed negotiations with Syria but opposed withdrawing from the Golan. Steinitz took credit for the revitalization of the Israeli economy. He said delegations from the International Monetary Fund and countries around the world are coming to Israel to learn from the success of the Israeli economy.