catherine ashton 311.
(photo credit: AP)
The European Union on Tuesday urged Israel to guarantee equality for all its citizens after Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu's offer the previous day to continue the building moratorium in the West Bank in return for Palestinian Authority recognition of Israel as the Jewish national home, according to the AFP.
"We support the two democratic states living side by side in peace and security," a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told AFP. "We also stress that the future states of Palestine and Israel will need to fully guarantee equality to all their citizens."
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"Basically in the case of Israel, this means whether they are Jewish or not," said the spokeswoman Maja Kocijancik.
The previous day Netanyahu spoke
at the opening of the Knesset's winter session in Jerusalem, taking time to address the precarious state of peace talks with the Palestinians.
In his speech, the prime minister challenged his Palestinian counterparts to continue the peace talks by saying he would initiate a cabinet proposal to renew a settlement moratorium if the Palestinian Authority would declare its recognition of Israel as a national home for the Jewish people.
Netanyahu's comments put an end to a couple of weeks of speculation regarding how he would deal with the moratorium issue.
He said that Palestinian recognition would be an important "confidence
building measure" and would send an important positive message to the
Israeli people of Palestinian intentions.
On Sunday, the cabinet called on all new citizens who are not Jewish to
pledge an oath of allegiance to the State of Israel as a Jewish and
democratic state, passing an amendment to Israel's Citizenship Law that
is to go before the Knesset.Herb Keinon contributed to this report.