Barak says land swap to be part of Palestinian peace deal

Speaking from Defense Ministry, Barak says new Palestinian state would be demilitarized, Israel will need security presence in Jordan Valley.

Barak speech serious 311 (photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )
Barak speech serious 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Charles Dharapak/Pool )
Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday night outlined Israel's conditions for a peace deal with the Palestinians, including maintaining settlement blocs and Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem.
He said the pre-1967 borders would be adjusted with land swaps that would leave the Palestinians with the same amount of territory, as they would have been expected to receive under if there had been a full return to the 1967 line.
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For security reasons, the new Palestinian state would be demilitarized and Israel would need to maintain a presence in the Jordan Valley to ensure.
It would also be clear that Israel was the homeland for the Jewish people, much like the new state of Palestine would be for the Palestinian people, Barak said.
Israel has always known that it would have to take courageous steps for peace, he said.
Speaking about the recent unrest in the Arab world, the defense minister said that despite Israel's strength, "we have not reached peace and tranquility." He said that despite the long-term hopes for liberty, the short-term reality can be expected to be "difficulties alongside opportunity."
Barak also said that the relationship between Israel and the US was vital in maintaining security, and that the two countries should cooperate in order "to weaken the radical camp" and to fight known terrorists to ensure "stability in the region."