Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Tunisia's Parliament votes on new Government

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

French court rules #burkini ban "clearly illegal"

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Biden in Turkey, Colombia Peace Deal, Ethiopia Olympic Protest (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Earthquake in Italy, French Burkini Ruling (part 1)

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

The hidden secrets of Les Invalides

Read more

FOCUS

Pro-Opposition stronghold Port-Gentil feverishly awaits presidential elections

Read more

ENCORE!

Alexis Michalik: treading the boards in the footsteps of 'Edmond'

Read more

REPORTERS

Getting away with murder in DR Congo

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Why does Italy refuse to see the seismic risk?'

Read more

Middle east

Palestinians reject Israeli conditions for settlement freeze

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-11

Palestinian officials have rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's offer to renew a partial freeze on settlement building if Palestinians recognise Israel as "a Jewish state".

REUTERS - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered on Monday to renew a partial settlement construction freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.
 
Palestinian officials swiftly rejected the proposal -- Israel's latest attempt to revive direct peace talks after the Palestinians quit the negotiating table to protest at the resumption of building in the occupied West Bank.
 
Netanyahu announced the offer three days after the Palestinians and Arab powers gave Washington a month to persuade Israel to renew a 10-month moratorium on settlement housing starts that expired on Sept. 26.
 

Netanyahu has resisted an extension and his comments marked the first time he has publicly suggested a new freeze could be implemented.
 
"If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognises Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension," Netanyahu told parliament.
 
Netanyahu said Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state was essential before a Palestinian state could be created in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
 
However, Nabil Abu Rdainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said a return to U.S.-backed peace talks required a freeze on settlement building by Israel.
 
"The issue of the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the matter," he told Reuters.
 
In a policy speech opening the winter session of parliament, Netanyahu also cited the need for strong measures to ensure Israel's security under any peace deal.
 
He said Israel was weighing U.S. proposals, including ideas touching on security, to salvage the negotiations.
 
A senior Israeli official has said Washington is seeking a two-month extension of the settlement building moratorium to give more time for direct diplomacy.
 
Palestinians view settlements, on land Israel occupied in a 1967 war, as an obstacle to the establishment of a viable and contiguous state.
 
Netanyahu has made recognition of Israel as a Jewish state a centre-piece of his government's policy.
 
Palestinians fear such a move could impede the rights of Palestinian refugees, who fled or were forced out of their homes in Israeli-Arab wars, to return to territory that is now Israel.

Date created : 2010-10-11

  • ISRAEL

    Israel passes controversial loyalty legislation

    Read more

  • MIDEAST PEACE

    Arab League gives US one month to save peace talks

    Read more

COMMENT(S)