(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made comments on Sunday in which he appeared to step back from his previous support for a two-state solution, Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator to the peace talks, said that he hoped the statements would be "an eye-opener."
"He was never a man of the two-state solution,”The New York Times quoted Erekat as saying.
“Simply irrelevant” is how Netanyahu described his former support for a demilitarized Palestinian state on Sunday.
“In the situation created in the Middle East, any territory that will be evacuated will be taken over by radical Islam and terrorist organizations supported by Iran,” Netanyahu said. “Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant.”
Netanyahu delivered a speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009 in which he voiced his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state.
Erekat told Al Jazeera on Sunday that when Netanyahu was given a choice between settlements and peace he has repeatedly chosen settlements.
"Netanyahu's policies are a major threat to peace and stability in the region," Erekat said.
Following Netanyahu's comments, Zionist Union co-leader Tzipi Livni said
that the prime minister had caused Israel to be isolated.
"When the Bar Ilan speech cannot be believed, then the speech on Iran cannot be believed either," Livni said, referring to the speech on Iran that Netanyahu delivered to the US Congress last week