The Israeli Foreign Minister has said that his government will not agree to freeze settlement building in Jerusalem. The US administration is demanding such a freeze to encourage the start of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Avigdor Lieberman said that Tel Aviv would not agree to freeze building in Occupied Jerusalem, following US demands for a Jerusalem settlement freeze to encourage Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. According to reports in the Israeli media, Lieberman said that the Israeli government will neither freeze construction nor give in to pressure to do so.
"No country would agree to demands to stop building in its capital city," he claimed. Israel regards Jerusalem as its "undivided capital", whereas the international community consider it to be occupied territory along with the rest of the West Bank. Lieberman said that if Israel agrees to a freeze, Israeli Arab citizens inside the Zionist state will declare a bi-national state, causing internal conflict.
The head of the far-right Yisrael Beitenu party added, "[Israel] has made enough goodwill gestures… there is no need for any additional gesture. Now it's the Palestinians' turn for gestures."