PA dismisses Netanyahu new idea of freeze in exchange of recognition
Israel on Monday raised another unaccpetable idea for extending the settlement construction freeze, and the Palestinians were quick to dismiss it. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu during a speech to the parliament said he would declare a new settlements freeze in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel as the Jewish homeland.
"If the Palestinian leadership will unequivocally say to its people that it recognises Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my cabinet and ask for another moratorium on building," he said. "I have already passed on the message through quiet channels and I am now saying it in public," the Israeli leader stated.
As expected the new Israeli suggestion was immediately dismissed by the Palestinians, with chief negotiator Saeb Erakat telling AFP the issue was completely unrelated to the crisis in the peace talks. "This order has nothing to do with the peace process or with the obligations that Israel has not implemented," Erakat stressed. "This is completely rejected."