US - Israel

No policy change on Jerusalem, says Netanyahu

Photo: Reuters

Israel will not change its policy on Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement on Friday. Netanyahu returned from his visit to Washington and convened his security cabinet to discuss a response to US demands for concessions.

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“The prime minister’s position is that there is no change in Israel’s policy on Jerusalem that has been pursued by all governments of Israel for the last 42 years,” the statement said.

The US has reportedly outlined a series of steps to Netanyahu, which it says will help restart the stalled peace talks.

Netanyahu is expected to meet with seven of his senior ministers later on Friday to discuss the proposals.

However Cabinet Secretary Zvi Hauser said it was doubtful that there would be a quick decision, and denied reports in the US media that Israel had been given a Saturday night deadline for a response.

“I suggest you wait patiently. The forum of seven is meeting today in the afternoon to discuss things. If there is a necessity for further discussions they will happen,” Hauser told public radio.

“They will formulate Israel’s position according to Israel’s interests and in the time needed to do so,” he said.

Late on Thursday government spokesperson Nir Hefetz said the US and Israel had moved closer to an understanding.

“There is a narrowing of the gaps between the positions of Israel and the positions of the United States on this issue,” he told a private Israeli television station.

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