Herzog confirms unity talks followed secret peace meeting

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said he entered into negotiations to join a unity government a year ago on the basis of a secret regional peace initiative being negotiated at the time.

Herzog, head of the Zionist Union camp, told American Jewish leaders that he demanded a total freeze on settlement construction as his condition for entering a national unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and that Netanyahu was willing to appoint him foreign minister and in charge of the peace process. Herzog added that in the position, he would have “work(ed) proactively to get international consent of sorts for construction within the settlement blocs.”

Herzog said the unity government agreement failed because some members of Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition were unwilling to distinguish between settlement blocs and far-flung settlements in the West Bank. (JTA)

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