Silvan Shalom: Palestinians using freeze as excuse

Vice Premier claims if PA leaves talks it's clear the freeze is excuse, reiterates W.Bank moratorium was wrong in the first place.

Silvan Shalom 311 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Silvan Shalom 311
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom said Monday "if the Palestinians leave the talks, it will be clear that it is just an excuse.
Appearing in Hebron Monday afternoon, Shalom reiterated his earlier statements that the decision not to continue the freeze was right and that the decision to implement the freeze was wrong.
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He went on to say that a settlement freeze is part of a final status issue talks which are not part of the discussion yet. "No demand like this was ever presented to any prime minister in the past, and it did not disrupt negotiations."
Chief Palestinian Negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo claimed earlier that a continuation of  building in the settlements will lead to a suspension in direct negotiations and the whole political process, Israel Radio reported.
"An end to construction is needed so that the peace process can progress," Abed Rabbo said during a interview with Palestinian Voice Radio.
Israel’s 10-month moratorium on new construction in the West Bank settlements expired overnight Sunday.
Bulldozers in Ariel began operating Monday morning in the West Bank settlement of Ariel on a new neighborhood that will house families that were evacuated from the Gaza Strip during the 2005 disengagement.