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Israeli ministers oppose settlement freeze
Published Sunday 21/07/2013 (updated) 22/07/2013 18:11
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JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Hardline ministers in Israel's right-wing government came out swinging on Sunday against any possible slowdown in Jewish settlement building as part of a deal to kickstart peace talks.

Their comments come after US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said Israeli and Palestinian negotiators had agreed to meet to pave the way for a resumption of direct peace talks, stalled for close to three years.

Israeli media have said that while there will be no formal declaration of a settlement freeze, a key demand of the Palestinians for talks to resume, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will quietly halt building for the time being.

"We must not have a freeze," Transport Minister Israel Katz, of Netanyahu's own Likud party told public radio. "It would be immoral, un-Jewish and inhuman to freeze the lives of people and their children.

"The official policy is what counts," Katz added. "I am against a freeze and I don't believe that such a thing will happen. Settlement is strong and growing."

The last round of direct talks between the two sides broke down in 2010 over the issue of Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel of the far-right Jewish Home party, told the radio that he did not want to consider even a limited freeze.

"It's inappropriate for the Jewish people, for the land of Israel and for a sovereign state," he said. "We are in favor of building as much as possible."

Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, said Saturday that settlements should continue in Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying "history has taught us that building brings life, while the evacuation of communities brings terror," Ynet reported.

Kerry gave away very little detail of the agreement, which came after four days of frenetic consultations with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

But Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly stressed that his demands of a freeze to Israeli settlement building on occupied land and release of prisoners held by Israel must be met before talks can resume.

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz on Saturday announced that there would be the release a "limited" number of Palestinian prisoners as a "gesture" for the peace talks.

Katz on Sunday took issue with his comments.

"I personally oppose the release of terrorist murderers," he said. "If the matter arises in future in the cabinet I shall vote against it."
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1 ) What about HAMAS??? / Will they be
21/07/2013 12:15
Part of the agreement? What abou ARAFAT's POST MORTEM EXAMINATION?

2 ) shirleyS / australia
21/07/2013 12:38
guess what you palestinian idiots and especially maan warned for weeks the rhetoric of settlement freeze will allow ISREAL to continue palnning and building settlements and the PA idiots caught in this trap again and have no recourse to compalin when ISreal keeps building as signed and agreed not to go to UN so what iS abbass going to do when Isreal continues hes alraedy agreed to lety them keep going and not only this but to allaow settlers to stay are ypou kidding this compaliants just tricxks

3 ) Wissam / Palestine
21/07/2013 13:34
Zionists deserve peace, tranquility, and prosperity...in Uganda.

4 ) Mel / USA
21/07/2013 15:57
"Hardline ministers"? I wasn't aware there were any SOFT-line ministers? With Israeli/Zionist ministers they're all VARIATIONS of a HARD-line theme. Moderate-hard,hard-hard,& lunatic-hard! Like comparing cruelty levels among POW-camp commandants. Not-so cruel.Quite-cruel.VERY cruel! If Israel has any 'soft-line',humane ministers,they must be gagged or hiding in the shadows,frightened to come out &face their own"immoral...un-Jewish...inhuman" policies on non-Jews.NOT KOSHER,Israel!Degel Shahor!

5 ) Marcos / Mexico
21/07/2013 16:53
Good for Mr. Benett that he is able to recognize that evacuation brought terror, first and foremost for palestinians after evicted from their own land. Dismantling settlements is just a repossession action, or returning property to its original proprietor.

6 ) betz55 / USA
21/07/2013 17:03
"It would be immoral, un-Jewish and inhuman to freeze the lives of people and their children." But perfectly alright to freeze, demolish, burn, and destroy the lives of Palestinians and Palestinians children? Get these hypocritical, messianic, immoral, egotistical, self-righteous boneheads out of power. Ship them to the Negev and let them wander in their own desert for the next 60 years.

7 ) Libra - scales of justice / United Kingdom
21/07/2013 17:29
Zionists your end is on the cards. Who has marked these cards - EL SHADDAI THE TRUE GOD OF JUSTICE. The clock is ticking away, maybe a year or two, then it will reach the countdown in seconds - then the question will be asked where are they? The c.d. of Bob Dylan, 'the answer is blowing on the wind!

8 ) Michel / CH
21/07/2013 18:31
This is the confirmation that"Israel"don't want peace.With his words,the Jews are in Palestine to grab Palestinian land and property,to ethically cleans the Palestinians from their own land.I realized,he says that all Jews are thieves killer occupiers,otherwise it would be immoral,un-Jewish and inhuman If they respect the Palestinians rights and international laws and stop building on land which does not belong to them.Abbas should not negotiate with such rogues about peace.ICC will be bette.

9 ) Libra - scales of justice / United Kingdom
21/07/2013 19:09
My heart goes out to those Palestinians who have to climb high on the rocks to see over the wall of their imprisonment. What they see is beautiful built houses on their land which are given to the illegal settlers. On the other side of the fence where they are stood many of their houses are just rubble.

10 ) Abby / ------
21/07/2013 19:25
Are we living in the Bible era?I am convinced that if the world wants peace in the ME and in Palestine,they have to get rid of the Zionist Israel.Deprive of power and all of those Nazis committing slow genocide on the Palestinians Currently sitting there and make decisions about Palestinian land who does not belong to them,they should be sentenced for life.After so many decades, and this global society had not realized that this mendacious ethnic group does not want peace for non Jews....A Shame

11 ) Colin Wright / USA
21/07/2013 21:39
To Wissam #3 'Zionists deserve peace, tranquility, and prosperity...in Uganda.' I'll say it again -- whatever did the Ugandans do to deserve such a fate? In my view, we here in the US will have to take the Zionists in. (a) They have to go somewhere, and (b) we are more culpable than any other party for the whole episode. Therefore, it should be us.

12 ) John Hillary / New Zealand
22/07/2013 11:32
"It would be immoral, un-Jewish and inhuman to freeze the lives of people and their children". Just so long as those people are Jewish. Otherwise it is moral, Jewish, and human to freeze the lives of those Israeli Jews occupy.

13 ) Noah Drake / USA
22/07/2013 18:40
The entire illegal settlement complex is an act of terrorism against the rightful indigenous owners of the land. Thankfully the EU is stepping up, and putting their boot on the throat of these squatters. Hopefully the EU will see that the right wing "outlaws" are always going to be out of step, and stop all trade relations with Israel. What happened to apartheid South Africa will happen to Israel....Thankfully!
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