According to Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, pledged on Friday that should he head any prospective Israeli government, he would not evacuate any settlement in the West Bank.
"The time of such concessions has gone and will never return,"
Netanyahu said. He also completely rejected the idea of freezing settlement construction. "The experience of the current government has proved the falsehood of this step because settlements are not the cause of the conflict with the Palestinians, but the result of it."
Netanyahu told Ma'ariv that he is sure of heading up the upcoming government. What is concerning him, according to Ma'ariv, is any decrease in Likud's power as this would lessen his ability to face any external pressure.
The former Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has attacked Netanyahu's behaviours towards US president, Barack Obama, as well as on account of Israel's deteriorating economic situation.
"Netanyahu is leading Israel to isolation as he is putting it in a direct dispute with the US," Olmert said. "The current government chose to clash with the US president despite him helping Israel."
Olmert said that he does not know who will head of the Israeli government over the next four year term, but what is certain is that "Obama is the US president during these four years."As such, he wondered what interest Israel could possibly have in clashing with the US "strongman".