Labor leadership candidate Isaac Herzog called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday to support the Palestinians’ effort to get a Palestinian state declared at the UN General Assembly in September.

Herzog issued the call as part of a new diplomatic initiative he published on his website ahead of the September 12 Labor leadership primary. The plan calls for negotiations to maintain the West Bank settlement blocs, while freezing construction and offering compensation to settlers who live beyond the security fence.

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“Israel must melt the iceberg our ship is about to hit in September, by declaring that we will support the decision on condition that there be negotiations on the final borders,” Herzog told Israel Radio.

Herzog expressed cautious optimism about the unity deal initialed between Fatah and Hamas. He said Israel should be encouraging the international community to pressure the new Palestinian government to accept the quartet’s principles – including renouncing violence, recognizing Israel and accepting previous agreements signed with Israel.

“We are going to work on two states now, not three,” he said. “Israel must take the reins and tell the world: ‘It’s time for Abbas to sit with Netanyahu.’” At a meeting of the Labor faction in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning, Herzog called upon interim Labor chairman Micha Harish to convene the party’s executive committee to discuss the developments in the Palestinian Authority.

Herzog and his rival for Labor leadership, MK Shelly Yacimovich, faced off in a debate in Hadera on Thursday night. Yacimovich criticized Herzog at the debate for not publishing a diplomatic plan when he was a cabinet minister. She blamed the pre-September chaos on Labor remaining in the government without influence for so long.

A Dahaf Institute poll published Thursday in Yediot Aharonot found that former Labor chairman Amram Mitzna – who will join the race next week – would bring Labor the most seats in the next election.

The poll predicted that Mitzna would bring Labor 16 or 17 mandates, Yacimovich and Herzog nine and MK Amir Peretz six or seven.

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