Sunday, September 12, 2010

Netanyahu to Offer a Partial Settlement Freeze

Haaretz reported:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seeks to adopt a policy identical to that of his predecessor for construction in West Bank settlements - a partial freeze - as the September 30 end of the moratorium approaches.

Under Ehud Olmert, more than 90 percent of construction was carried out in the major settlement blocs - Ma'aleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel.

After a decade of U.S. calls to "stop building settlements," Hillary Clinton called Israel's settlement restraint unprecedented. Oddly, negotiations could fall back to the secret Olmert-Abbas agreement indicated by Tony Blair. That could make PM Netanyahu uncomfortable, given his past positions.

The current lineup of officials aiding a settlement thaw includes Hillary Clinton, George Mitchell and Tony Blair. When Tony "Change in Gaza Strategy" Blair meets with leaders in the region, war is not far away.