Israeli opposition hits settlement policy

Nov. 5, 2010 at 1:50 PM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni Friday condemned the resumption of settlement building and called for a new governing coalition.

The Kadima Party leader said Israel must accept the U.S. proposal to extend the recently expired settlement freeze and that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's coalition is damaging the country's security and world standing, Haaretz reported.

Peace talks with the Palestinians are stalemated and at risk of collapse over Israel's refusal to extend its moratorium on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

Speaking to the Israeli Farmers Association Friday, Livni asked, "Why not comply with the demand to extend the freeze by two months? So certain people can hold on to their seats in the coalition, who would have stayed there anyway? Does that compare to our strategic relationship with the U.S.?

"The government talks tough," she said, "but Israel's interests are being damaged. They spoke of security, and damaged security. We can't rally the world by constantly saying no. We need to say yes from time to time too."

Livni said she had proposed a Kadima-Likud coalition to Netanyahu, but he rejected the idea.

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