Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu continued to consult with the forum of seven
senior cabinet ministers over a list of demands that U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton made in a telephone conversation Friday.
Clinton harshly criticized the announcement last week of plans to expand the
Ramat Shlomo neighborhood in East Jerusalem while U.S. Vice President Joe
Biden was visiting Israel.
Haaretz has learned that Clinton's list includes at least four steps the
United States expects Netanyahu to carry out to restore confidence in
bilateral relations and permit the resumption of peace talks with the
1. Investigate the process that led to the announcement of the Ramat Shlomo
construction plans in the middle of Biden's visit. The Americans seek an
official response from Israel on whether this was a bureaucratic mistake or
a deliberate act carried out for political reasons. Already on Saturday
night, Netanyahu announced the convening of a committee to look into the
2. Reverse the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning and Building
Committee to approve construction of 1,600 new housing units in Ramat
3. Make a substantial gesture toward the Palestinians enabling the renewal
of peace talks. The Americans suggested that hundreds of Palestinian
prisoners be released, that the Israel Defense Forces withdraw from
additional areas of the West Bank and transfer them to Palestinian control,
that the siege of the Gaza Strip be eased and further roadblocks in the West
Bank be removed.
4. Issue an official declaration that the talks with the Palestinians, even
indirect talks, will deal with all the conflict's core issues - borders,
refugees, Jerusalem, security arrangements, water and settlements.