: Israel’s Foreign Minister says the current government will not accept any new freeze on building in east Jerusalem or the West Bank; statement comes ahead of Quartet meeting and rumors of partial building freeze.
“It would be a blessing if Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas quit his position“, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told reporters in Jerusalem on Monday, adding that the PA president is a hurdle to peace.
“It is Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] who is the stumbling block to peace and not the settlements,” he said.
Lieberman added it would be a blessing and not a threat if Abbas were to quit. He explained that there are many other Western-trained Palestinians who could replace him.
The current government, the foreign minister said, will not accept any freeze on West Bank settlements or Jewish building in east Jerusalem.
“I won’t accept any freeze,” he said.
Lieberman spoke in advance of a Wednesday meeting of the Quartet and media rumors that Israel had offered to halt public construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem.
The Prime Minister’s office has denied that any such offer was made. The Palestinians have insisted that they will not speak with Israel until it halts all Jewish building over the pre-1967 line.
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