PM: Abbas needs to restart peace talks

Netanyahu calls on Abbas

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday called for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table. At a press conference in Eilat, the prime minister said that Israel wants peace and had even taken the "extraordinary step" of voting to implement a 10-month freeze on settlement construction. However, continued Netanyahu, the Palestinians have not reciprocated Israel's determined step towards peace. As a result, the prime minister said, the Palestinians are "putting up obstacles to peace process." The Palestinians, said the prime minister, "continue to insist on preconditions and to push for acceptance of the findings of the Goldstone report by the UN General Assembly." Netanyahu also made mention of the fact that Israel has removed hundreds of roadblocks in Judea and Sumaria and said that such a move would lead to the revival and growth of the Palestinian economy. On the Iran front, the prime minister said that Israel continues its relentless efforts to convince the international community to impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. "The Iranian regime is at a very vulnerable point" and only via "painful sanctions" will Iran be prevented from being able to proceed with its nuclear program, Netanyahu said.