“If we freeze [construction] for three months, the pressure on us to decide our permanent borders will be unbearable,” Shalom told Israel Radio after the meeting. “Unfortunately, if that happens, it will be a huge mistake.”Despite the apparent widespread opposition to the deal, Shas chairman Eli Yishai told the cabinet that under certain circumstances, his party would not reject an extension of the settlement moratorium.”If arrived a letter from the president of the United States stating that there could be immediate construction in Jerusalem, and that after 90 days there could be unlimited construction anywhere, we would think about abstaining,” he said.
The Palestinians have also expressed strong reservations about the proposal because the moratorium would apply only to the West Bank, not East Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital. Still, they did not reject it outright, saying they would consult among themselves and with Arab leaders.
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Americans had not officially informed the Palestinians about the details of the proposal, “but they know we have a major problem in not including East Jerusalem.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will put the U.S. plan before Palestinian decision-makers and call for an immediate session of Arab League officials before announcing an official decision, Erekat said.