Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Scotland: celebrities take sides in independence debate

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Apple denies security breach in celebrity photo leak

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Apparent beheading of Steven Sotloff sees more calls for #IsisMediaBlackout

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Lesotho Coup: Exiled Prime Minister vows to return home after fleeing

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors? (Part Two)

Read more

DEBATE

Child Migrants In America: What to do about the wave of unaccompanied minors?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

FOCUS

When water becomes a weapon of war

Read more

  • France’s former first lady lifts lid on 'cold' Hollande

    Read more

  • Obama orders 350 more US troops to Baghdad

    Read more

  • IS video purports to show beheading of second US journalist

    Read more

  • French mum reunited with daughter 'kidnapped by jihadist father'

    Read more

  • Video: Bodies ‘left behind’ as Ukraine forces flee rebel assault

    Read more

  • Trust and 'bio-disaster units' needed to fight Ebola

    Read more

  • France vows crackdown on unemployment benefit ‘abusers’

    Read more

  • Could France sell the Mona Lisa to pay off its debts?

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces advance on IS as protesters storm parliament

    Read more

  • Germany blocks popular car pick-up service Uber

    Read more

  • Several UN peacekeepers killed in Mali explosion

    Read more

  • French clubs left behind as others spend big

    Read more

  • Arab media strike back at IS Islamists – with cartoons

    Read more

  • NATO plans new 'spearhead' force to counter Russia

    Read more

  • When water becomes a weapon of war

    Read more

  • US military targets Somalia's al Shabaab Islamist group

    Read more

  • Eve Ensler: 'In The Body Of The World'

    Read more

Middle east

Palestinians reject Israeli conditions for settlement freeze

Video by Guillaume MEYER

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)