Clinton with Abbas
Photo: AFP

US offers 'silent' halting of settlements, PA refuses

Palestinians say won't renew peace process without public Israeli promise to freeze settlements

The Palestinians rejected Saturday a proposal by US Secretary of State to renew negotiations with Israel on the basis of agreements reached between Israel and the US.


Ynet has learned that one of the offers suggested to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by Clinton earlier Saturday was a quiet freeze of West Bank settlements, to which Israel would not publicly commit itself.


Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeeb Erekat said only that the proposal made by the US had been rejected, and gave no further details.


However Palestinian sources say that the proposal had been refused because Israel would not openly declare a settlement freeze.


"The Israelis do not honor commitments that the whole world knows and supports, such as those of the Road Map, so in this case an unclear and non-public commitment is out of the question," one source said.


Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rodeina, said the meeting between the Palestinian president and Clinton in Abu Dhabi had gone well, and that Abbas had restated his demand of a complete halt in settlement construction.


"They discussed the situation which the negotiations are in and the fact that until now no breakthrough has taken place which can allow for the renewal of the process, and this is due to Israel. The halting of settlement activity and the foundation of a clear outline for the process are conditions for returning to the negotiating table," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 10.31.09, 14:58
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