Watchman Newsletter

Report: Netanyahu sets terms for freeze extension

YNet News (Link) - Roi Kais (October 4, 2010)

Is the West Bank settlement building freeze on the verge of renewal? The London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Monday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given his consent in principle to a two-month renewal of the settlement construction moratorium, but has conditioned it by stipulating it would be the last of its kind.

Citing Israeli sources, the paper reported that Netanyahu also asked the US to guarantee Israeli military presence in the Jordan Rift Valley as part of a final peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Other conditions include US military assistance and Washington�s assurance that it will use its veto power in the UN Security Council to nip any decision against Israel.

The reports added that Netanyahu asked the Americans to help him deal with the broad political opposition he is likely to face on the matter. The prime minister, said the newspaper, explained to the Americans that he would need a benefits package to show his cabinet, if he is to garner their support for the move.

The same sources told the newspaper that according to Netanyahu, 15 ministers currently object to any form of a settlement freeze extension, eight ministers support it, and 10 are undecided.

Should there be a tie between those supporting the move and those opposed to it, Netanyahu will have the deciding vote, said the report. �