Netanyahu says settlement freeze will end on time

Monday, July 26, 2010 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested on Monday that Israel's self-imposed settlement building freeze will expire as planned in late September.

Netanyahu imposed the 10-month freeze last November under heavy pressure from the US. He hoped it would entice the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. But Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas continues to reject Israeli requests and US pressure to restart direct peace talks.

The Obama Administration has been pressing Netanyahu to extend the freeze so as to not lose the chance to get through to Abbas. However, in remarks carried by The Jerusalem Post on Monday, Netanyahu said that the timeline of the freeze "has not changed and that's how it will be."

Netanyahu has been under heavy pressure at home to not extend the freeze, considering that the Palestinians have responded to the gesture in anything but a positive manner.

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