Transparent distraction maneuvers like this undermine trust in the prime minister’s intentions. Freezing the settlements is not a gesture deserving of recompense from the Palestinian side; it is a formal commitment the government of Israel took upon itself seven years ago under the road map for peace.
The other side of the equation was a Palestinian commitment to take the measures necessary for stopping terror. American security teams are operating in the territories and even top people in the Israeli security establishment are expressing satisfaction with the functioning of the security mechanisms under the aegis of the Palestinian Authority.
Most probably he expected that the Palestinian leadership would not accept a deal offering a temporary freeze in return for a concession on a supremely fundamental and emotional issue, which has its place in the discussion of the core issues.