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(photo credit: Knesset Channel)
Ahead of the start of the Knesset's winter session, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday reiterated his willingness to resume the peace process as soon as possible, and said that his government would continue to make efforts to oppose those who question Israel's right to self-defense.
Speaking at the start of the Likud faction meeting which preceded the opening Knesset session, the prime minister said that the government had three challenges.
The first challenge, he said, was "to try and resume the peace process, as we have called for from day one - and there no reason why it cannot resume as soon as possible without preconditions."
He said that the second challenge was to work to counter the Goldstone Commission's report," which he called was a series of attempts on an international level to negate Israel's right to self-defense."
He said the efforts must be made to "curb this danger."
The prime minister said the third challenge was "to continue to lead the country," adding that he hoped to pass what he said was a vital planning and construction reform.
Labor leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, speaking to his faction ahead of the Knesset session, said "the fact that we have not yet closed all the gaps with the United States and the Palestinians on the route to resuming talks should not weaken us. We can and should work in order to advance towards a [peace] deal.
Regarding the Goldstone report, Barak said "we have several ideas regarding how to cope with the report and also continue to give our backing to IDF personnel and decision makers."
Meanwhile, Kadima chairwoman and opposition leader Tzipi Livni attacked the government and praised her party in an address to her faction on Monday afternoon.
"In the previous session, the government tried to trample anything that moves in an attempt to realize its only goal - survival. In an obstinate struggle, we managed to prevent these processes... which also gives us the strength to continue the struggle this session," the opposition leader said.
Livni proceeded to quote faction chairwoman Dalia Itzik, who said on Army Radio on Monday morning that "Kadima is not an opposition to Israel; it's an opposition to Netanyahu's government."
In the upcoming session, Livni elaborated, Kadima would prioritize issues such as changing the governing system and certainly "continue our battle against the peculiar decrees burdened upon the shoulders of Israelis citizens, especially the middle-class, which finds itself constantly paying for all the coalition's needs."
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