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Monday, November 15, 2010

U.S., Israel may make a deal for a 90-day building moratorium

US asks Israel for 90-day settlement building moratorium
By T. LAZAROFF, K. ABU TOAMEH, H.L. KRIEGER   14/11/2010  Jerusalem Post
PM discusses possibility of halting building with septet; in exchange, US would support Israel in the UN and give 20 fighter jets.
The US asked Israel to freeze all new settlement construction begun after September 26th for a 90-day period in exchange for support in the United Nations and 20 additional advanced fighter planes worth $3 billion, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

The principles of this agreement designed to restart peace talks with the Palestinians, were relayed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to his inner cabinet, a forum of seven ministers, on Saturday night and will be explained to the full cabinet on Sunday.

The US said that if the deal was accepted it would not request an additional settlement freeze. The request does not include east Jerusalem.

The date for the new freeze has not been set, but it would be retroactive to the September 26th date, when the previous 10-month moratorium on such activity expired.

The details of the deal were worked out Thursday during a seven-hour meeting in New York between Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of their staff.

Should Israel accept the offer, the US in turn has pledged in the next year to veto any efforts by the UN Security Council to impose on Israel a non-negotiated solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict, as the Palestinians have requested.

It would further veto any resolutions that deny Israel the right to self-defense or seek to de-legitimize Israel. The US would also oppose such efforts in other UN bodies and forums.

The US administration would ask Congress to approve the supply of 20 additional advanced fighter planes to Israel worth $3 billion so that Israel can keep its qualitative edge.

This defense assistance will be added into Israel's security agreement with the US, so that Israel's safety can be assured. Talks about these defense understanding will begin in the coming weeks.

Netanyahu learned of the details of this deal during his trip to the US.