Ayalon: Interim accord more likely than final status deal

Deputy FM says Palestinian approach to final status talks could lead to "an escalation that could destabilize the entire region."

November 6, 2010 17:08
2 minute read.
Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post)

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon on Saturday declared it was time for Israel to write off attempts to reach a final-status peace agreement with the Palestinians and instead seek a long-term interim agreement.  Ayalon's comments mirrored those made by Israel Beiteinu leader, Foreign Minister Avigdor Leiberman during a speech to the UN General Assembly at the end of September after the cessation of the government's unilateral 10-month settlement building moratorium.

Ayalon made his comments at a Saturday event held in Petah Tikva, saying that the agreement with the Palestinians on core issues seemed unlikely and calling upon them to consider an interim agreement in both nations' interests.

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"The Palestinian approach to an agreement is a destructive escalation that could destabilize the entire region," said Ayalon.

During his September speech in front of the UN General Assembly, Lieberman called for a “two-staged” solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that “could take a few decades,” and said a final status agreement would entail “not land-for-peace, but rather, exchange of populated territory.”

He said a “long-term intermediate agreement” prior to final status agreements would most likely be necessary as a first component of a “two-staged” solution.

An intermediate agreement, Lieberman said, would be motivated from the “need to raise an entire new generation that will have mutual trust and will not be influenced by incitement and extremist messages.” Lieberman added that creating such an emotionally conducive climate “could take a few decades.”

Lieberman stressed that he was not advocating population transfer as part of a final status agreement, but rather, stating that “moving borders to better reflect demographic realities” would be part of an effort to recognize and address the deep-seated friction between the two nations.

Citing examples in East Timor, as well as the former Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia, Lieberman said “where effective separation has been achieved, conflict has either been avoided or has been dramatically reduced or resolved.”

No comments by the Prime Minister's Office in response to Ayalon remarks were available at the time of this report, as they occurred over the Jewish Sabbath.

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