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Ashkenazi: Palestine is inevitable, UN state bid is not

June 20, 2011 09:02

Former IDF chief says Israel must play an active role in peace process, reengage Palestinian Authority, bring Abbas back to negotiating table; Ashkenazi to Dagan: Keep opinions about Iran attack to yourself.

LT.-GEN. Gabi Ashkenazi

Ashkenazi looking to the sky 311. (photo credit:Ariel Jerozolimski)

Former IDF chief of General Staff Gabi Ashkenazi said that a Palestinian state is "inevitable," and that Israel must take an active stance in seeking to reengage the Palestinian leadership in order to avoid a unilaterally declared Palestine in the UN this September, Army Radio reported Monday.

Speaking at an event in Toronto, Ashkenazi said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government could still avoid the UN Palestinian state bid if Israel opened up negotiations again with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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The former IDF chief insisted that Israel would have a bigger impact on the final outcome if it were achieved "with coordination rather than in conflict," and that the government would have a greater likelihood in producing two states under conditions suitable both to Palestinians and Israelis.

Ashkenazi also reacted for the first time to comments made by former Mossad chief Meir Dagan in regards to an attack on Iran, saying "I am confident the new IDF general chief of staff, new Mossad head and entering Shin Bet chief know how to express their opinions to our leaders and won't cave to pressure," Army Radio reported Monday.

Dagan had warned that Israel should not attack Iran, and that such an strike would not stop Tehran's nuclear march.

Ashkenazi cautioned Dagan, saying he should keep such opinions to himself.
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