Israel: Settlement in Jerusalem not up for negotiations

Related : Ethnic Cleansing – Topic | Settlement Construction – Category

[ 02/10/2011 – 09:59 PM ]

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)– Israeli deputy prime minister Silvan Shalom said settlement construction in Jerusalem was not negotiable and that the city has always been outside of any settlement freeze decisions, despite opposition by various groups.

With regard to resuming peace talks with the Palestinians, Shalom told Israeli Radio on Sunday that all pending issues must be debated in parallel but not in the order proposed by international Quartet, whereas he said borders and security should be tackled in the first stage of talks.

The senior Israeli official said that even if the Palestinians achieve their regional demands, it would not be in their interest to reach a compromise on issues important to Israel such as the repatriation of Palestinian refugees and matters relating to Jerusalem and the holy sites.

For his part, Israeli Knesset member Nachman Shai (Kadima) said he supports continued construction in Jerusalem, wondering how Prime Minister Netanyahu had not realized that his decisions give rise to public discontent among pro-Israel states, including the United States and Germany.

He added that Israel should have first declared that it accepts the Quartet’s proposal on resuming negotiations and then announced approval of building the new settlement units in the Gilo outpost in Jerusalem.


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