Israeli Finance Minister: Extending Israeli Construction Freeze Is "Very Difficult"

(Bloomberg) Bill Varner - Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said it would be "very difficult" for his government to renew a freeze on settlement construction in return for American security assurances. "It was a unilateral gesture," Steinitz said in an interview Monday. "You don't negotiate on unilateral gestures. You negotiate on a peace settlement." Steinitz said there was no "reciprocity" or flexibility from the Palestinian Authority during the freeze. "To come now and to demand more is very problematic," he said. "When you are making a unilateral gesture it is not open to negotiation." Israel says the settlements aren't illegal because the West Bank wasn't recognized as belonging to anyone before the 1967 war, in which Israel prevailed, and therefore isn't occupied.

2010-10-05 11:21:33

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