Netanyahu's position 'perilous'

2010-03-13 10:00

kalahari.com

Washington - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's political standing is "perilous" because of divisions within his coalition over efforts to pursue peace with the Palestinians, a senior US official said on Friday.

Israel's announcement this week, during a visit by US Vice President Joe Biden, of plans to build 1 600 settler homes in an area of the occupied West Bank it annexed to Jerusalem, cast a shadow over US efforts to relaunch Middle East peacemaking.

The decision was a blow to Biden's mission and sent him and other top American officials scrambling to shore up Palestinian and Arab support for launching US-led "proximity" talks as early as next week, although officials acknowledged there could be a further delay.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned Netanyahu to tell him the settlements announcement was a "deeply negative signal about Israel's approach to the bilateral relationship ... and had undermined trust and confidence in the peace process," a State Department spokesman said on Friday.

"The Israelis know the only way to stay on the positive side of the ledger - internationally and with us - is to not have them recurring," the senior Obama administration official said of announcements about expanding settlements.

Settlement freeze

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, predicted "a dicey period here in the next couple days to a couple of weeks" as Washington tries to get the indirect talks launched.

Entering negotiations with the Palestinians on so-called core issues including statehood borders and the fate of Jerusalem could spark a revolt from Netanyahu's far-right coalition partners and destabilize his government.

The senior administration official termed Netanyahu's political position as "perilous" because of the divisions. Right-wing parties oppose peace moves, including a full settlement freeze, sought by the Palestinians and the United States.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has likewise been seriously weakened by his rivalry with Hamas Islamists, who control the Gaza Strip bordering Egypt.

The Obama administration believes the proximity talks may be the only way in the foreseeable future to ease Israel back to the negotiating table without triggering a political crisis.

Sensitive issues

Under the proposed format for the talks, Netanyahu could relay his positions on sensitive issues to a US mediator, George Mitchell, instead of to the Palestinians directly.

But Israeli officials say Netanyahu is resisting the inclusion of core issues in the proximity phase, casting doubt on the scope of the talks.

The senior official said Netanyahu's assurances the 1,600 houses would not be built for at least a year were meant to give Abbas the political cover he needed to move forward as planned.

"Nothing is going to go up anytime soon, this was a year away at a minimum, which is another way of saying, 'Hey look, I'm not building anything. Nothing's going to be built here,'" the official said of the private messages relayed to Abbas by the vice president.

By vouching for Netanyahu, Abbas was "able to say with certainty to his team, 'Look, this is a fight about something in the future and the way to deal with that is to get into talks,'" the official said.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It may feel like you are treading water and going nowhere fast. You may want to get off the merry go round. By pushing yourself...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.