Israel's Lieberman eyes deal with US president-elect

Defense minister hopes deal might be struck with Trump administration allowing Israel to continue settlement construction

Israel's Lieberman eyes deal with US president-elect

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Wednesday night voiced hope that a deal might be reached with the incoming administration of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump that would allow the Jewish state to continue its settlement-building activities in the occupied West Bank.

"We can freeze construction in small settlements in return for U.S. recognition of Israel’s right to build in settlement blocs," Lieberman told reporters.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, Trump's advisors have already asked Israel to refrain from creating "facts on the ground" before the new president takes office.

Speaking to the press, Lieberman said Israel should wait and see who Trump appoints to senior positions within his administration before trying to reach any understandings with it.

Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators collapsed in 2014 over Israel's refusal to release a group of Palestinian political prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so.

Since then, all attempts to revive negotiations have failed, due mainly to Israel's insistence on building Jewish-only settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

The Palestinian leadership says all settlement-building activity must stop before a comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (of the right-wing Likud party), for her part, said Lieberman's statements on a potential deal with the next U.S. administration did not reflect the government’s official position.

"The Israeli government will begin a communication process With Trump’s administration upon his entry to the White House," Hotovely said in a statement.

 

Last Mod: 17 Kasım 2016, 15:48
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