An Israeli minister has said that the conditions put forward by the Palestinian Authority for the resumption of peace negotiations are “aimed at causing the failure of the negotiation process altogether”. Minister of Science Daniel Hershkowitz made his claim at the weekly session of the Ministerial Council on Sunday. “There is no way for a freeze to be put on settlement construction, not even for one moment,” he said, “because Israel has already put a freeze on settlement construction for 10 months but the Palestinians refused to return to the negotiating table.”
The government, he added, is against a settlement freeze and against returning to the pre-1967 borders.
A ministerial colleague, Gila Erdan, called for pressure to be put on the Palestinian Authority to guarantee its return to the negotiating table. The Minister of Environmental Protection also supported a suggestion to have an international conference to ensure the resumption of the political process. Despite the ministers’ apparent distaste for conditions put in place by the Palestinians, his support for such a conference, stressed Erdan, is conditional on American sponsorship of the event.