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Shlomo Ganor: "The government's decision three months ago to freeze settlements only concerns the West Bank"

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Shlomo Ganor: "The government's decision three months ago to freeze settlements only concerns the West Bank"

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Issam Badran, euronews

Let’s begin talking about the crisis between the US and the Israeli government. The key elements are: the US special envoy to the region George Mitchell and the enumeration of American conditions to the Netanyahu government (published in Haaretz , evoking the existence of conditions the Israeli government must accept); stopping the building of settlements in East Jerusalem and giving good gestures to the Palestinian Authority and its President Mahmoud Abbas, the indirect negotiations being based on the core issues. Is Netanyahu going to say ‘yes’ to Obama according to these conditions?

Shlomo Ganor, Israeli analyst
Current efforts, over the next few days, will be looking for a solution to the misunderstanding between Israel and the United States. This, in light of contacts and compromises, is the follow-on to the crisis unleashed last week. The two countries could reach a balanced agreement. Israel will give the US its decision officially.

Issam Badran, euronews
How can the peace process restart if the Netanyahu coalition government, including parties of the right such as Israel Beitouna, does not stop settlement building and does not give positive signals to the Palestinian Authority. How could the peace process go on?

Shlomo Ganor, Israeli analyst
First of all, we have to note that the current government of the right under Benjamin Netanyahu last month adopted the historic declaration which admits a Palestinian state and a halt to settlement building in the West Bank.

Issam Badran, euronews
This freezing of settlement building that you are talking about, and which Netanyahu also talked about but has not respected…He announced the construction of 1,600 homes in Ramat Shlomo(before that, 112 were built in Bethlehem). How is it possible?

Shlomo Ganor, Israeli analyst
The government’s decision three months ago to freeze settlements only concerns the West Bank and that is what the Israeli government committed to. But it excludes greater Jerusalem; the American administration and the Palestinian Authority knew that.