Israel is extending its hand once more for peace with the Palestinians,
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday at a press conference
while announcing that former foreign minister Tzipi Livni had joined his
coalition and will lead the Israeli peace negotiating team.
am hoping for a peace deal based on two states for two people, as per
the parameters I outlined during my speech at Bar Ilan University,"
Netanyahu said at the conference. "Today Israel extends its hand once
more for peace. We want a peace process, and we hope that it will yield
The prime minister also mentioned domestic issues more
emblematic of potential coalition partners Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi,
including equalizing the burden of service and lowering commodity
prices. He also spoke of the importance of securing Israel's borders
amid dangers emanating from Iran, Syria and Hezbollah, which he called
"We must set aside our disagreements and
join forces for the State of Israel," Netanyahu said. "The State of
Israel now needs a large national unity government. Today we're making
the first step towards this end."
Speaking after him, Livni echoed the prime minister's sentiments, focusing largely on her role as a future peace negotiator.
months ago we established Hatnua with the intention of fighting for a
peace deal," she said. Though she also mentioned the issues of burden of
service and commodity prices, Livni said "Iran, Syria, the Palestinians
are not less pressing than these domestic issues."
Livni is set to be Israel's next justice minister, while her party's number
three, Amir Peretz, will be the environmental protection minister. In
addition, a member of Livni's party will chair an unspecified Knesset
Livni added a call for other parties to "set aside their campaigning" and join a wide Netanyahu-led coalition.
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