Israel hopes to have US building freeze offer ‘soon’

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hopes to receive written US commitments “soon” on incentives for a fresh freeze on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank, his office said on Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 18 Nov 2010, 9:25 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 8:15 AM

Netanyahu “hopes to soon complete his contacts with the US administration,” his office said in a statement.

In talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last week, Netanyahu agreed to accept a package of US diplomatic and security pledges in exchange for a fresh 90-day moratorium on new settlement building in the occupied West Bank outside annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

However, he has baulked at bringing the deal to his security cabinet until he receives the pledges in writing.

“If the US document reflects those principles, it will be an excellent agreement for Israel and the prime minister will push determinedly for a positive decision from the cabinet,” the statement said.

The statement came after US officials briefed Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on the US offer to Israel.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians resumed on September 2 but collapsed three weeks later with the expiry of 10-month-old Israeli restrictions on West Bank settlement building.

Abbas has refused to rejoin the talks until a new moratorium is imposed.

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