Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu criticized the Palestinian
leadership's unwillingness to engage in direct talks in an interview
that aired Friday night on Channel one.
"We walk towards peace and they distance themselves from it," said
Netanyahu. "If they can't sit with us, how can we achieve peace?"RELATED:
Fayyad: Direct talks not justified
Obama signs Iran sanctions into law
The prime minister stated his willingness to discuss the end of the
government's building freeze in Judea and Samaria, set to end in
September, with Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas. He
went as far as to say that he would go to Ramallah to negotiate with
Abbas if the PA chairman would come to Jerusalem.
Netanyahu also sought in the interview to downplay accounts of increased
pressure from President Obama regarding Israel's stance towards the
Palestinians and talk of poor relations between the White House and the
current Israeli government. He emphasized that Israel and the US
continue to share a strong connection despite perceived differences with
the current Obama administration.
The prime minister admitted that while Obama administration's approach
towards Israel may be different from that of past US administrations,
the US and Israel still share the same goals of preventing a nuclear
Iran as well as achieving peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
"There is a fundamental connection in basic interests between the US and
Israel in two areas. One, to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
And two, to achieve an immediate peace between the Palestinians and
Israel," said Netanyahu.