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Monday, November 15, 2010

Netanyahu presents new settlement freeze plan to Israeli Cabinet

Top story: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pushed for a new 90-day settlement moratorium in a meeting of the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday. The new proposal comes after intensive talks between Netanyahu and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who met for almost eight hours in New York on Thursday to discuss the terms of the deal.
In return for the freeze, which would not include settlement construction in East Jerusalem, the Israelis would receive 20 advanced U.S. fighter jets and other military aid, as well as a U.S. pledge to block Palestinian attempts to work through the United Nations or other international bodies to achieve statehood. Specifically, the United States would veto any U.N. Security Council resolution that affirmed international recognition of a Palestinian state.
Obama administration officials also promised that this would be their last request for a settlement moratorium. They are hoping that this current proposed moratorium can buy enough time for the sides to make progress delineating the borders between the two states. By clarifying which settlements would be ceded to Israel in any final agreement, and which land would be given to the Palestinians in return, the administration is hoping to convince the Palestinians to drop their demand for a settlement freeze in the future.
The vote on the proposal in the Israeli Cabinet is expected to be close, but analysts expect it to pass by a slim margin.
Released opposition figure challenges Burmese junta: Immediately after being released from more than seven years of house arrest, Aung San Suu Kyi drew a crowdof thousands at a rally.

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