'Netanyahu's words prove Israel isn't interested in peace'
LAST UPDATED: 05/16/2011 22:38
PM lays out diplomatic message he is expected to bring to Washington; says Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel is root of conflict.
Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses Knesset Photo: Moshe Milner / GPO
The Palestinian Authority rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s diplomatic address to the Knesset on Monday, saying the statements were unacceptable and constituted “preconditions.”
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for PA President
Mahmoud Abbas, said that peace requires that east Jerusalem become the
capital of the state of Palestine and that all final-status issues be
solved at the negotiating table and in accordance with the road map and
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“Netanyahu’s statements prove once again that
Israel is not interested in peace and that it continues to challenge
the international community,” Abu Rudaineh said. “But that won’t stop
the Palestinian people from demanding their full rights, including going
to the UN.”
Earlier Monday, Netanyahu said that the events of Nakba Day
proved that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "not a conflict on 1967
but a conflict on 1948, and on the right of Israel to exist."
Speaking at the opening of the Knesset's Summer Session and
commemorating the anniversary of Theodore Herzl's death, Netanyahu put forth what
is widely believed to be the diplomatic message he will take to Washington, where he is scheduled to address the US Congress later this week.
He stated that a Palestinian leadership which refuses to recognize
Israel is responsible for preventing peace. "We must stop blaming
ourselves," Netanyahu stated.
The prime minister said that the majority of Israeli's support his
diplomatic vision, setting out a number of points which were widely
First, that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as the nation state
of the Jews. Secondly, that any peace agreement with the Palestinians
should end the conflict and all future Palestinian claims on land.
Third, that no refugees be allowed to return to Israeli territory.
Fourth, that a Palestinian state must be formed with Israel's security
arrangements in mind, including a continued Israeli military presence
along the Jordan River. Fifth, large settlement blocs must remain part
of Israel. And, lastly, Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of
Netanyahu said that in addition to these points, the majority of
Israelis were united in their belief that Israel's borders must be
defended, the peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan must be kept intact
and Iran's nuclear weapons program must be kept in check.
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni spoke following Netanyahu, slamming the prime minister for not having a diplomatic vision.
"In a number of months a Palestinian State on the 1967 borders will be declared and the prime minister is going to the United States with no vision or plan of action," Livni stated.
"On this day we are united to defend Israel's sovereignty. Israel's leadership must act to thwart those that do not accept its existence," she stated.
Livni listed Iran's nuclear program and those who attempted to infiltrate Israel's borders during Sunday's Nakba Day as challenges that must be faced.
The opposition leader added that "leadership is not only expecting and warning" against these dangers, but rather "thinking of solutions, and this government has failed in giving answers."