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Photo: Yariv Katz
Netanyahu: 'Bloc' has various meanings
Ahead of Washington trip, PM explains to Likud members that word choice regarding settlements in Knesset speech meant to 'form national consensus'

Gearing for his trip to the United States, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to assuage nervous Likud members concerned over what has been called his "compromising" Washington speech.

 

The prime minister, whose recent Knesset speech made reference only to settlement blocs which will remain under Israel's control as part of the future peace deal with the Palestinians, has come under fire from the Right for what has been perceived as his "softer" approach to the subject.

 

Meeting with Likud members on Wednesday, Netanyahu explained that "'Bloc' has various meanings," adding that his choice of words was meant "to form a wide national front" on settlements.

 

"It is possible it didn’t work in the Knesset, but I feel it struck a chord with the public," he said. "What I said is that everything is based on our demands: recognition of Israel, a united Jerusalem and no right of return."

 

Meanwhile, the WAFA news agency reported that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told American officials he is willing to resume negotiations with Israel, if the latter meets its obligations stated in the Road Map.

 

 

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