Israeli officials slam nationalistic party for sabotaging peace talks

Israeli officials slam nationalistic party for sabotaging peace talks
# 13 November 2013 19:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Israeli center-left politicians slammed Wednesday the nationalistic Jewish Home party for trying to sabotage negotiation efforts with the Palestinians through expanding settlements in the disputed areas.

On Tuesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called off construction plans of more than 20,000 housing units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, recently announced by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, a member of Jewish Home.

Netanyahu asked Ariel to "re-examine the potential construction, " saying that the plans will damage Israel and bring it to an " unnecessary confrontation" with the international community.

"More and more announcements on construction in the settlements. .. It's all in the interests of preventing us from ever reaching an agreement with the Palestinians," Tzipi Livni, chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister, wrote on her Facebook page on Wednesday.

She said that the Jewish Home party, whose main constituency is made out of settlers, is an obstacle to making progress in the peace talks.

Israeli and Palestinian teams have been negotiating for the past three months in an attempt to reach an agreement to end the conflict between them. Reports said that Israel's repeated announcement of settlement expansion in the disputed areas is causing a rift between negotiation teams.

Meanwhile, Israeli Science Minister Ya'akov Perry also criticized the party's move, saying that the party's leaders are trying to undermine negotiation efforts.

"These announcements by Minister Ariel sabotage not only the negotiations with the Palestinians - which is undergoing difficulties as it is - but also the prime minister's efforts in tackling the issue of Iran's nuclear plan," he said.

Netanyahu has been trying to recruit the world's support to not ease sanctions on Iran's nuclear plan, which he dubs an " existential threat" to Israel, amid Iran's talks with the P5+1 nations in Geneva.