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Friday, September 24, 2010

'Settlement freeze' extension being negotiated

With less than 48 hours to go to its expiration, an extension to the 'settlement freeze' is being negotiated through US Special Middle East envoy George Mitchell.
Two senior Palestinian officials told the AP that US President Barack Obama's special Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell was indeed leading a mediation effort, speaking directly with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The officials, who are close to the negotiations, said the Palestinians are willing to show "some flexibility" on the issue. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

They said one proposal being considered was that Israel would resume building new projects only in some areas, probably in communities close to the Israeli border and likely to be retained by Israel in a future deal as part of a land swap. That idea has been floated by Israel's relatively moderate deputy premier, Dan Meridor.

But the officials added that at least two other scenarios were also under discussion, including a three-month extension of the moratorium or a conditional extension in which the Palestinians would agree to the "exceptions," in effect legitimizing the building of several hundred new homes beyond those that were under construction 10 months ago.
Why are we 'negotiating' an extension to something that was a unilateral Israeli gesture after the 'Palestinians' wasted nine months of its ten-month term? And what is Israel getting in return? Based on this report, the answer to that question is "nothing."


At 6:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't get it.

Why should Israel concede something for nothing.

What is Israel going to get from the Palestinians in exchange for extending the freeze?

What Israelis are really doing is negotiating among themselves.

The Palestinians won't compromise and this sets a terrible precedent for the rest of the negotiations.

What could could go wrong indeed


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