Israeli settlers slam hints of Netanyahu compromise on settlement construction freeze

08:44, September 13, 2010      

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Israeli settler leaders on Sunday expressed outrage over news of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's proposed "midway options" in concern with the Jewish settlement construction freeze, threatening that its implementation would bring about a premature end to his tenure.

Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting that "there's all or nothing, but there are also midway options" regarding the construction freeze debate. Israeli media termed the comments as the premier suggesting a partial continuation of the 10-month moratorium on the West Bank settlement construction.

Netanyahu's remarks quickly drew sharp criticism from hard-line settlers, which shows again the between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place situation the Israeli prime minister is facing.

Danny Dayan, head of the Judea and Samaria Council, said he expected Netanyahu to live up to a promise to renew construction after the 10-month construction freeze ends later in September. Extending the moratorium, he said, would "constitute the crossing of a red line."

"We must not stutter or blink and should return to building," Dayan told Ynet on Sunday.

Several dozen settlers, claiming the premier is shifting his political agenda from right to left, held a demonstration outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem Sunday evening while Netanyahu addressed his ministers.

Itzik Shadmi, head of the Binyamin regional council, was quoted by Ynet as saying that the construction activity in the West Bank should resume in full.

"If that won't happen, we must do everything to terminate Netanyahu's rule and bring to power someone more credible than him, " he said.

Netanyahu and Abbas are slated to meet on Tuesday for the continuation of talks in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el- Sheikh. However, the two sides still differ on the Jewish settlement construction issue.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has vowed repeatedly in recent weeks to quit direct talks if the construction activity in the West Bank Jewish settlements resumes.

Source: Xinhua


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