Netanyahu speaks at Herzliya conference.
(photo credit: GPO)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday he had reason to believe that long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians could resume in a matter of weeks.
Netanyahu did not give details, but an Israeli official indicated Israel would take a step to make it possible for the Palestinians to agree to talks.
He did not give details and spoke on condition of anonymity because no offer has been made.
Palestinians have been insisting that Israel halt all settlement construction before peace talks are restarted. They rejected a partial 10-month moratorium Netanyahu imposed in late November as insufficient, because it does not include east Jerusalem.
Netanyahu was speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference.
"I have reason to hope realistically that in the coming weeks we will restart peace talks with the Palestinians without preconditions," he said.
Netanyahu praised Palestinian efforts to improve their economy and
build institutions, but he appealed to them to accept a resumption of
efforts toward a peace accord. "If this willingness indeed exists, we
will see resumption of the process in the coming weeks," he said.
Palestinian comment was immediately available. Palestinians have said
they are considering an offer by US envoy George Mitchell to start a
round of shuttle diplomacy with Israel.