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Netanyahu offers settlement freeze in return for recognition as Jewish state, Palestinians say no

HAARETZ.com

October 11, 2010 | 10:35 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu offered Monday to halt settlement construction if the Palestinians were to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, but the Palestinian leadership was prompt to reject the proposal.

“If the Palestinian leadership will say unequivocally to its people that it recognizes Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, I will be ready to convene my government and request a further suspension,” Netanyahu said while speaking at the opening of the third session of the 18th Knesset.

“Just as the Palestinians expect us to recognize their state, we expect reciprocal treatment,” said Netanyahu.

“This is not a condition but a trust-building step, which would create wide-ranging trust among the Israeli people, who have lost trust in the Palestinian will for peace over the last 10 years.”

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