Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he agrees to extending settlement construction freeze for a number of months, but in return he wants guarantees that it will not be asked for a further extension. He also said that Israel wants assurances that it will be able to resume constructions that had already begun.
The Asharq Alawasat newspaper reported that the Israeli Prime Minister also demanded guarantees from Washington that Israeli troops will remain deployed in the Jordan valley under any final peace deal with the Palestinians.
The paper also said that Netanyahu asked the United States to help him in addressing the broad opposition he faces in his own coalition, and added that he needs to be able to present accomplishments to his ministers.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, told members of his Yisrael Beiteinu Party, that U.S. President, Barack Obama, “is trying to force an agreement on Israel”.
He said that Obama “wants to force a two-state solution”, and that Israel must not accept Obama’s proposal for a two-month settlement freeze.
Lieberman claimed that Obama’s policy might lead to “forcing a peace agreement with the Palestinians”, and that this agreement would insist that Israel withdraw to the 1967 borders.
Despite his opposition to any freeze on settlement activities, Lieberman stated that his party should not quit the government coalition as remaining in the government will enable his party to oppose any new settlement freeze.
He also stated that there are around five ministers of the Likud party of Netanyahu who would vote against the demands of Obama for an extension on settlement freeze.
Lieberman further stated that the United States wants the freeze to continue so it, and the international community, will have a two-month period to find a solution that Israel will be “forced” to accept.
“The United States, the Palestinians and the Arab League will then tell Israel that they have a solution to the conflict and that Israel will have to accept this solution, or it will pay the price of confronting with the international community.’