Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that there is none and there will be no freeze in Israeli construction in post-1967 areas and demanded that the international community accept the idea of Israeli building in the blocs of post-1967 communities (built on land Israel acquired in the 1967 war) – communities expected to remain in Israel under any future agreement. The State Department wasted no time in announcing that the answer to Netanyahu’s request, “Is a big no.” Netanyahu was also adamant in telling the SecState that he will not countenance restoring economic and security cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians until the daily violence against Israelis ends, a reversal of his position when he visited President Obama at the White House recently. At that time he was willing to implement gestures for the Palestinians unilaterally. But since the beginning of October, 23 Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians, many with knives, some by vehicular homicide and others with gunfire. The random violence has left both populations unnerved, with Israelis increasingly demanding action from the government. The government, in turn, charges the Palestinian government with being responsible for much of the incitement that spurs individual actors to commit violent acts, more often than not at the cost of the assailant’s own life. Attackers as young as 13 to 16 years of age have killed Israeli citizens in the past two months. Kerry was unequivocal in his condemnation of the violence and reiterated Israel’s obligation to defend its citizens. The SecState also met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah for two hours discussing demands made at previous meetings, including the PA’s call for “international protection” of its people from Israeli violence.
Source: The Media Line