U.S. To Offer Israel Incentives To Restart Peace Talks
Although State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley refused to discuss the specifics of the offer, the U.S. is hopeful that written guarantees will persuade Israel to pass a new freeze on settlement activity in the West Bank, bringing the Palestinians back to the direct talks.
The U.S. is requesting a 90-day moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank, but the proposal would not include a halt to building in East Jerusalem.
Despite promises from the U.S., many members of the Knesset remain skeptical of the deal and are worried that Washington is setting a trap to extract major concessions in the near future.
According to Haaretz, the most recent snag in promised incentives concerned a pledge that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made would provide Israel with 20 F-35 stealth warplanes worth $3 billion.
However, recent discussions indicate that Washington has reconsidered and now wants compensation for the fighter planes.
"It looks like the free stealth fighters have slipped," said Benny Begin, a Likud party minister opposed to the proposed U.S. deal.