Livni: Netanyahu is damaging Israel’s interests


Date 06/11/2010, 16:44 (Jerusalem)


TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma’an) — Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni said Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s refusal to extend restrictions on illegal settlement building was damaging Israeli interests, Israeli media reported.

Livni asked, “Why not comply with the demand to extend the freeze by two months? So certain people can hold on to their seats in the coalition, who would have stayed there anyway? Does that compare to our strategic relationship with the US?” the Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz quoted.

Reports that American mediators offered Israel various incentives to impose restrictions on settlement expansion were not confirmed by US President Barack Obama’s administration, but Israeli media cited informed sources saying a Palestinian request to the UN for statehood would be vetoed, weapons trade would increase and economic ties would be strengthened.

Livni was further quoted saying Netanyahu’s right wing government had weakened Israel, and that “We can’t rally the world by constantly saying no. We need to say ‘Yes’ from time to time too.”

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO reached a deadlock within weeks when a 10-month partial moratorium on settlement construction expired in late September. Despite pressure from across the international community – including the US, UN and EU – Netanyahu refused to extend the freeze, and full-scale settlement building resumed across the West Bank.

Netanyahu insisted that the extension of restrictions was politically impossible, and would lead to the collapse of his coalition.

Livni: Netanyahu is damaging Israel’s interests

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