Israel to Refuse All Official Gestures to Palestinians

Some Sources Predict Secret, Partial Settlement Freeze

by Jason Ditz, April 11, 2013

Israeli officials are sending some mixed messages after Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit on whether or not they are going to make any gestures to kickstart peace talks, but it seems safe to say that anything they do will be quiet.

Publicly some officials are saying no gestures of goodwill can ever be allowed because the Palestinians are “peace refusniks” and cannot be trusted even on the surface, and that the cabinet is “unanimous” about not making any such moves.

At the same time, some sources in Jerusalem say that a partial settlement freeze, covering only those outside of the major settlement blocs, may be imposed on a basically secret basis, hoping the move can convince the Palestinians to return to the talks.

Such a partial freeze has been spurned before, since the vast majority of the settlement expansions are taking place inside the major blocs in the first place, and the temporary freeze would have little practical impact on the policy.

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