Hamas warns Arabs: Don't rush toward normalizing Israel ties
Netanyahu tells ministers Israel has done its part, waiting to see what gestures Arab states will make.
Hamas on Sunday warned Arab states to be wary of Israel's proposal to temporarily halt settlement construction in exchange for normalization of ties, describing it as a "dangerous equation".
"There is an Israeli effort to avoid the American demands, Hamas political chief Khaled Meshal said, referring to U.S. call for a full settlement freeze. "We warn against any Arab rush toward normalization."
Meshal welcomed the Obama's administration calls for a settlement freeze, but said he awaited concrete U.S. measures in the peace process.
Amr Moussa, the secretary general of the Arab League, who appeared with Meshal before reporters in Cairo, said that the reaction would be tough on any Arab country improving relations with Israel in response to this offer.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with several Likud cabinet ministers and Knesset members over the weekend, in an attempt to persuade them to support a freeze on construction in the West Bank settlements.
One of Netanyahu's main messages is that Israel has done its part, and that he is now waiting to see what gestures toward normalizing ties Arab states are willing to make.
The security cabinet met on Sunday to continue its preparation for the arrival later this week of U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.
Ministers and MKs who spoke with Netanyahu and his associates told Haaretz that the prime minister showed them the final agreement reached with the U.S. administration on suspending settlement construction.
A source in the Prime Minister's Office said Netanyahu did not use the word "moratorium" or "freeze," opting instead to describe the proposed measure as "reducing the scale of construction."