Monday, 10 May 2010

Israel Matzav: Barkat: There's no freeze

Barkat: There's no freeze

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat says there's no building freeze in Jerusalem.

In spite of widespread reports from multiple sources that Jewish building in Jerusalem has come to a standstill, Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, has denied that there is any freeze. "The real test is the test of action. The municipality continues to promote construction throughout the city according to plans that provide for Jews and Arabs alike . We expect that the Interior Ministry and the Housing Ministry to approve these plans.”

"We trust the Prime Minister not to allow a freeze in Jerusalem, not in words but in deeds," added Barkat.

I'm afraid Barkat is doing some wishful thinking. This is from the State Department.

Both parties are taking some steps to help create an atmosphere that is conducive to successful talks, including President Abbas’ statement that he will work against incitement of any sort and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s statement that there will be no construction at the Ramat Shlomo project for two years. They are both trying to move forward in difficult circumstances and we commend them for that.

We have received commitments from both sides, and we have made assurances to both sides, that are enabling us to move forward. The full scope of these discussions will remain private.

As both parties know, if either takes significant actions during the proximity talks that we judge would seriously undermine trust, we will respond to hold them accountable and ensure that negotiations continue.

My guess is that nothing happens until November, when we see how much Obama is weakened - if at all - by the midterm elections. Until then, neither side is likely to defy him.

And yes, that means the 'freeze' in Judea and Samaria will be extended.

Israel Matzav: Barkat: There's no freeze

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