Report: Netanyahu told Barroso Palestinians not serious about peace
Published Tuesday 10/07/2012 (updated) 11/07/2012 11:24
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the European Commission President on Monday that Palestinians are not serious about peace, according to Israeli media.
Palestinians "seek to return to Haifa and Tel Aviv, not just the West Bank," the premier told Jose Manuel Barroso during his visit to Israel, Hebrew-language daily Maariv said.
After meeting with Palestinian leaders a day earlier, Barroso proposed to the Israeli premier ways to return to peace talks, but Netanyahu insisted he would not "provide a single penny" until he received something in return, the report said.
President Mahmoud Abbas insists Netanyahu free all 123 Palestinians jailed by Israel since before the 1994 Oslo agreement, and allow new weapons for Palestinian security forces, before they meet directly.
Israeli daily Haaretz also reported on Monday that the Israeli premier has proposed improving cooperation over the collection of Palestinian Authority taxes, which would provide the government with an extra 50 million shekels ($13 million) each month.
Negotiations have been frozen since September 2010, when Netanyahu refused to extend a partial freeze on illegal settlement building.