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Netanyahu`s office: No change in settlement policy

Deputy PM Meridor says settlement construction endangering two-state solution; comments come after Netanyahu`s senior security adviser reportedly said settlements eroding Western support for Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not changed his position on settlements, Israel Radio quoted an official in his office as saying Thursday. The comment comes in the wake of a report that Netanyahu`s senior security adviser said settlements impede Western support of Israel.

According to Haaretz, National Security Council head Yaakov Amidror recently told closed-door meetings at the Prime Minister`s Bureau that Israel`s insistence on continuing settlement construction is costing it international support even among its most stalwart friends.

Related: Israel advances settlement plans after alleged Obama rebukeUNHRC: Israel could be sent to ICC for settlements`It`s impossible to explain the issue of settlement construction anyplace in the world,` Amidror was quoted as saying.

`It`s impossible to explain this matter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel or even to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Construction in the settlements has become a diplomatic problem and is causing Israel to lose support even among its friends in the West,` Haaretz quoted Amidror as saying at a closed discussion.

Amidror, a religious former head of research in Military Intelligence, has long been associated with the right. He recently told Israeli ambassadors serving abroad after who expressed concern about Israeli settlement construction in E1 that they should either represent Israel`s position, resign or go into politics.

In response to the debate, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said on Thursday that settlement construction was in contradiction to Israel`s long-held diplomatic policy.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Meridor stated that, `construction outside the Green Line is inconsistent with Israel`s stance on seeking a two-state solution, and harms Israel`s image abroad.`

The deputy prime minister warned that settlement building threatens the Zionist enterprise as it is likely to bring about one bi-national state `between the [Mediterranean] Sea and the [Jordan] River.`

Addressing the prime minister, Meridor said, `If you establish a coalition purely based on the number of seats, we have achieved nothing.`

He told the radio that Netanyahu should formulate long-term goals in four key areas - diplomacy, defense, economy and the burden of national service.
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