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Erekat: PLO not notified of settlement freeze
Published Tuesday 07/05/2013 (updated) 08/05/2013 19:35
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel has not notified the PLO of any changes to its settlement activity, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday, as Israeli media reported a new moratorium on settler homes in the West Bank.

"We have not been notified of any changes to Israel’s colonial plans, including ongoing construction in dozens of Israeli settlements in the Occupied State of Palestine, including in and around our occupied capital East Jerusalem," Erekat said in a statement.

Israel's army radio reported Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered a freeze on publishing tenders for new West Bank settler homes to avoid hampering US efforts to renew peace talks.

“What we need are actions and not words," Erekat said in response to the report. "We monitor Israeli activities on the ground on a daily basis."

Neither Netanyahu's office nor the housing ministry would comment on the army radio report, which said the premier had gone back on a pre-election pledge to push ahead with thousands of new settler homes if re-elected.

The radio said the tenders were related to construction in the major settlement blocs which are home to most of the 360,000 Israelis living in the West Bank.

Netanyahu's decision to freeze the tenders was linked to efforts led by US Secretary of State John Kerry to relaunch peace talks with the Palestinians, according to the report.

Hagit Ofran of the Israeli group Peace Now, which opposes settlements, confirmed that the watchdog had seen no evidence of any new tenders published since the start of 2013.

"There have been no new tenders published for settlement construction in the West Bank since the start of the year, and tenders are normally issued every three months," she told AFP.

"This is not a settlement freeze because construction in the settlements is continuing, but you could say it is a show of restraint by Benjamin Netanyahu who does not want to be accused by the Americans of being responsible for the failure of their efforts to restart negotiations with the Palestinians."
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1 ) Why is this monkey a billionai / re??? what is
07/05/2013 20:38
his profession? what can he do in his life except empty talk???

2 ) Even If The PLO is Notified / There Will Be NO Negotiations
07/05/2013 21:56
- Even if "the PLO is notified", the building freeze will not be enough
(e.g. 100% within 1967 lines, including E Jerusalem), just like it wasn't enough during the previous 10-month building freeze, and
- Even the PLO has learned to compromise", which is very Unlikely,
Israel will NOT agree to talks based upon 1967 lines, so
- THERE WILL BE NO NEGOTIATIONS, whether the PLO is notified or not !!!

3 ) Ahmad / Palestine
07/05/2013 22:02
Dear Mr Erekat, How many more times will you resign before you really resign? I guess the money must be too good to pass up.

4 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
08/05/2013 01:28
ShShShSH It is a secret, a gesture.

5 ) Outlier / USA
08/05/2013 01:51
Why is this icon of failed leadership still relevant in any way? The comment "What we need is action and not words," is more true of the Palestinians than the Israelis.

6 ) shirleyS / australia
08/05/2013 02:09
this does not mean its true and ISreal has already said there is no freeze so why this stupid article and of course ereket is going to stae the obvious if Isreal has publicly stated so and doubtful Isreal is going to make concessions after syria attack where they killed people can not say that was rocket destruction and Obama supporting it what was and no real proof there was rockets and CLINTON admitting US is using Isreal airraids instaed of ground invasion and2Isreal admission no BI nation st

7 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
08/05/2013 03:43
From the Israelite "Office of Truth of Press Releases": "It is true our PM has refrained from approving any new construction tenders in the State of Palestine since Jan. 1, 2013. This is so he can give the appearance of trying to cooperate with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry's efforts in the vain hope of re-starting "peace" negotiations with the State of Palestine. It is basically a smokescreen for a dead pipe dream. Rest assured construction tenders already approved will have the (cont.)

8 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
08/05/2013 03:53
full approval to continue with construction. If our PM has not informed the Palestinians of this (temporary) delay regarding new constructions tenders, it is for the better because their ignorance is their bliss. Remember: What has been done so far is a delay in approving new construction plans. There is no moratorium or delay affecting current or previously-approved construction plans. When, after some time has passed and it is apparent that no return to "peace" talks has or will (cont.)

9 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
08/05/2013 03:58
happen, these and other construction tenders that have been delayed will be approved as usual. We sincerely hope this clarifies any misunderstandings that may have developed. Thank you very much for your time." Sincerely, Yehuda Solomon, Israelite "Office of Truth of Press Releases."

10 ) shirleyS / australia
08/05/2013 05:41
it has just been reported US & russia are going to work towrads syria crisis together whether US is being honest is yet to see but recent attacks and no chemical weaponattck by gov makes it almost impossible US to save face also syria due foe election 9 months makes it almost impossible US to unesat assad now unless some real fake scam happens but unlikly this strengthens pals position as US will find it harder to chop up stae of palestine US must recognize state of palestine

11 ) shirleyS / australia
08/05/2013 05:54
but again sometyhing EREKET fails to realize in his stupid staement is Isreal has not issued tenders for all this yr US did not start peace overtures unti early march with Obama visit so the so called holding back of setlements has nothing to do with it and pals and the likes on maan news should stop treating people like idiots the palestine cause did not advance based on lies but always on truth and the courage and integrity to withstand criciszm

12 ) Nour / 1-State
08/05/2013 08:53
Chief Clown of the Puppter Authority reminding us of the obvious - that the Zionists want more land - not more peace, with the indigenous Palestinian Arabs.

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/05/2013 10:04
Notice the Zionist snarls. People are supposed to buy into these monkey games. Israel is going to pretend to freeze settlements. All work underway will continue of course. New work will be authorized when that nears completion. She will build exactly what she was always going to build. You can have peace. You can have Israel. You can't have both.

14 ) gabi / australia
09/05/2013 10:12
. . . and, Colin, then it will be "no, we re not building new settlements, just expanding the older ones to house our growing population" when the percentage of the increase in the population of all of Israel is less than the percentage of the increase in the rate of growth of the settlements. Sneaky little buggers, aren't they?
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