Barak Ravid
December 9, 2009 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the Palestinian Authority on Wednesday of having chosen to postpone peace negotiations with Israel indefinitely as a "strategy."

"It appears that the Palestinians have adopted a strategy of delaying negotiations with Israel, and this is in order to refrain from meeting the demands of Israel and the international community, which require comprises on the Palestinian side," Netanyahu told the cabinet.

He made the comments during a three-hour meeting held to discuss a freeze on new construction in West Bank settlements. Netanyahu announced the move two weeks ago, calling the moratorium a bid to restart stalled peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Palestinians say the move is not genuine, since it does not include 3,000 homes already under construction in the West Bank or east Jerusalem, which they claim as the capital of a future independent state.

Netanyahu added: "The Palestinian Authority is making a mistake that they must understand: There will not be a real solution without direct negotiations with Israel, within whose framework we will reach accords and agreements."

During the meeting, the ministers were briefed by director of Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, the head of the Shin Bet security service, Yuval Diskin, and Foreign Ministry and defense officials.

The officials mainly dwelt on the reasons for the Palestinians' refusal to engage in new negotiations; they also touched on U.S. efforts to restart the peace process


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017