...Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made clear on Sunday he did not back various compromise proposals regarding settlement building ...The government, he said, decided last year to declare a 10-month settlement construction moratorium. That moratorium was due to expire on midnight on September 26.
“There is a government decision to freeze construction only for 10 months, and when that period ends, the decision is no longer valid,” he said.
...The prime minister’s comments came as various Palestinian spokesmen continued to posit this as the central issue in the talks, threatening to walk out of the negotiations if Israel restarts settlement building.
Netanyahu has said that Israel’s position is that this would be one of the core issues to be discussed in the negotiations, and he would make no declarations before then.
Diplomatic sources in Washington downplayed on Sunday Palestinian threats to bolt the talks over this issue, saying that after it took so long and so much effort to get the sides to the table, the Obama administration would not allow either side to torpedo the talks so soon after they began anew, and certainly not before the US midterm elections on November 2.
Netanyahu, at the outset of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, said his goal was a peace agreement based on the following principles:
“The recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people,
the end of the conflict and of claims on Israel, that will stem from recognizing it as the national state of the Jewish people, and
the establishment of tangible security measures on the ground so as to ensure that there will not be a repeat in Judea and Samaria of what happened in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip after Israel withdrew from these areas.”
He said that there would obviously be many other issues, but that those were the “basic components” of Israel’s approach to the talks.
...“There shouldn’t just be a tactical halt between two wars or two outbreaks of terrorism, but a peace based on recognition, security, stability and economic prosperity between the two peoples that will endure for us and our children,” the prime minister said. “This is my goal and I very much hope that it is the goal of the Palestinian leadership as well.”
Netanyahu said that in addition to meeting with US President Barack Obama, he also hoped to meet in Washington with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II...