PM: PA won't budge on peace talk preconditions

Abbas refuses direct talks, security comes before peace, Netanyahu tells Knesset committee.

January 16, 2012 12:36
2 minute read.
prime minister binyamin netanyahu

prime minister binyamin netanyahu informing_311. (photo credit: GPO/Moshe Milner)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat “will not budge a nanometer” in his positions during peace talks with Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday.

Addressing the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Netanyahu said he is willing to start talks “anytime, anywhere without preconditions,” and would get into his car and drive to Ramallah right away, “even if it would be a headache for my security staff.”

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

PA skeptical as 3rd round of Amman talks begin
PA to take issue of settlement building to UNSC

However, the prime minister explained, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is not prepared to meet with him for direct talks.

“For three years the Palestinians refused to negotiate, and thought they’d be able to force preconditions. Israel even agreed to an unprecedented 10-month freeze [on settlement construction],” he added.

Netanyahu said that the sides agreed not to discuss the current negotiations in Jordan with the press, but that Erekat is not keeping his side of the deal because he plans to abandon talks next week, which the PA thinks is the Quartet deadline. Israel, however, says that the deadline is on April 3.

“Erekat’s stances, which everyone knows already, do not change,” the prime minister remarked.

Netanyahu added that, due to the unity deal between Hamas and Fatah, Israel is demanding that Gaza be demilitarized, in addition to the West Bank. He pointed out that there are over 10,000 missiles in Gaza with a range of over 40 km.

“Security comes before peace,” he repeated multiple times, explaining that he would be willing to abandon peace talks if they threatened Israel.

The prime minister also discussed changes in the Middle East, saying that the region is unstable and volatile.

The relationship between Israel and Egypt that existed under former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak will not return, Netanyahu said, and the new situation will affect Israel’s security.

He added that the US may cut its financial support of Egypt if the peace treaty with Israel is broken.

In addition, Libyan weapons are entering Gaza through the Sinai Peninsula, which is becoming a platform for terror and Iranian intervention, Netanyahu explained.

In relation to Iran, the prime minister said that until there are real and effective sanctions against Iran's petroleum industry and central bank, sanctions will not stop Iran's nuclear program.

Netanyahu also said that since the US left Iraq, Iran is quickly “filling the vacuum.”

As a result of changes in the Middle East, Israel’s security problems are worsening, he explained.

“The State of Israel must greatly strengthen its defense capabilities and its ability to attack immediately. This costs a lot of money,” Netanyahu stated. “We cannot increase the IDF’s power without a strong economy.”

Related Content

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
August 31, 2014
Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN