Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 390.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Any future agreement with the Palestinians will be brought to the country in the form of a referendum, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the outset of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, just hours after finishing a six-hour late-night meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
This was Netanyahu's third meeting with Kerry since he arrived Thursday afternoon. Generally promises of a referendum are made to neutralize a political crisis by assuring ministers opposed that they need not bolt the government over the issue because the public will ultimately decide.
Kerry, who went Sunday morning to Ramallah for a third meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas within 72 hours, is slated to leave Israel for Brunei in the afternoon. He is expected to deliver a statement before boarding the plane.
"Israel is willing to enter negotiations without delay, and without preconditions," Netanyahu said, revealing little about the substance of the Kerry talks.
"We are not piling up any obstacle to the renewal of permanent talks and a peace agreement between us and the Palestinians," he said. Netanyahu said that there are elements that Israel will demand during the negotiations, first and foremost when it comes to security issues.
"We will not compromise on security and there will be no agreement that will endanger the security of Israeli citizens," he said.