Knesset Speaker: ‘Drying Up Jewish Settlements Won’t Save Us’
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to announce a six-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria (Yesha), in keeping with U.S. President Barack Obama’s demand – but only after building 500 more units. Israelnationalnews.com
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Monday that Israel's decision to construct nearly 500 new housing units in the West Bank prior to declaration of a settlement freeze further undermined any belief that it is a credible partner for peace.
"Israel's decision to approve the construction of over 450 new settlement units nullifies any effect that a settlement freeze, when and if announced, will have," Erekat said in a statement. haaretz.com
U.S. special Mideast envoy George Mitchell has managed
to obtain "pledges" from many Arab states for various steps toward
normalization with Israel, some more significant and some less so, senior U.S.
government officials told Haaretz on Sunday.
That is one of the main questions to which Israel is hoping to receive an answer when Mitchell arrives later this week or early next: what steps toward normalization the Arab states have agreed to take in exchange for a partial freeze in West Bank settlements. haaretz.com
DEBKAfile's Iranian sources disclose that Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are working on a wide-raging plan to replicate Iran's key nuclear installations in Venezuela, possibly in the framework of a new program there on the Iranian and North Korean models. Ahmadinejad seeks to keep them safe from possible US or Israeli attack; Chavez wants to rile Washington. Debkafile
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