Netanyahu: Palestinians are delaying talks

By Jennifer Lipman, January 17, 2012

Israeli Prime Minister has said that he is prepared to engage in peace negotiations at any time.

But Benjamin Netanyahu told Knesset members that Palestinian intransigence was preventing progress in the talks in Jordan.

He said that for three years the Palestinians had refused to enter negotiations "thinking they could impose preconditions upon us"; a statement understood to mean the Palestinian demand for Israel to curb construction in the settlements.

"I'm ready to get into my car at any time and go to Ramallah, even if it's more than a small headache for my security guards, but [President Abbas] isn't ready."

Negotiators on both sides met in Amman earlier this month, arranged by the Quartet of Middle East peace mediators. Three meetings have taken place since the start o f January, but the detail of the discussions has not been released.

The chief negotiator for the Palestinians said Mr Netanyahu's claims were baseless.

Last updated: 12:15pm, January 17 2012