The Palestine Authority has rejected the principles Netanyahu laid out in his speech as unacceptable, adding that they were part of “preconditions.”
Palestine Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said peace talks required that east Jerusalem become the capital of Palestine and that the final issues will be solved at the negotiating table in accordance with the international laws.
“Netanyahu’s statements prove that Israel is not interested in peace and that it continues to challenge the international community,” Abu Rudaineh said. “But that won’t stop the Palestinian people from demanding their full rights, including going to the UN.”
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday evening announced that Israel might withdraw from areas of the West Bank excluding some major settlement blocs, reported by The Jerusalem Post.
Netanyahu spoke a day after the Nakba Day protests which were organized by Palestinians. The protesters marched towards the Israeli borders and Israeli troops opened fire, which killed more than a dozen people.
“We agree that we have to keep the settlement blocs. There is broad consensus that the settlement blocs must remain within the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. Israel is willing to make compromises for peace, he added.
He also said that if the recent reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah, led Hamas becoming a part of the Palestinian government, peace would not be negotiated.
In a diplomatic address to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, the prime minister laid out a platform for peace with the Palestinians.
The rejection of Netanyahu’s diplomatic plan by Palestine comes when the international community is pressuring him to come up with a plan for next week so that there would be peace talks with the Palestinians.
There will be a policy address on the Middle East issue on Thursday by the United States President Barack Obama.
The six points Netanyahu, put forward for future agreement with Palestine are:
The Palestinians have to recognize that Israel is the national homeland for the Jewish people.
Any peace agreement between Israel and Palestine must end the conflict and all claims against the State of Israel.
The problem of Palestinian refugees must be resolved outside Israeli borders.
The fourth point states that the Palestinian state must be demilitarized and not endanger Israel’s security in anyway and that Israel should be allowed to keep a military presence along the Jordan Valley.
Israel will retain the settlement blocs and the last point stating that Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel.
King Abdullah II of Jordan met with senior US officials and leaders of the US Jewish community on Monday, ahead of a meeting on Tuesday with Obama.
“Injustice, the stalemate in the Middle East peace process and a loss of hope are major factors behind continued tension and violence in the region,” Abdullah II said.
Abdullah II met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the State Department, where it was declared that the Israel-Palestine conflict is the main issue in the Middle East.
“That is a challenge for all of us to get it right, and the role of the United States is going to be crucial how the Middle East moves in what direction,” he said.
In the Knesset, Netanyahu said the Nakba Day events outlined the dangers which are facing Israel and has revealed the nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The root of the conflict has never been the absence of a Palestinian state. The root of the conflict always was and remains the Palestinian refusal to recognize that Israel is a Jewish state,” he said.
Netanyahu made it clear that Israel wants to make peace with the Palestinian state so that there will be an end to the conflict. He said a Palestinian state that will continue the conflict is not accepted. Although, he is willing to accept a Palestinian state neighboring Israel, “but will not accept a Palestinian state in place of Israel.
The long overdue 'Palestinian state'
Abbas has also asked the United Nations to recognize the state of Palestine with its 1967 boundaries, these boundaries include all of West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.
In an ‘Op-ed’ in The New York Times he said, “Palestinian state remains a promise unfulfilled.”
He pointed out that once a Palestinian state is recognized by the UN, it will be ready to negotiate on all core issues of the conflict.
Abbas concluded by urging the international community in realizing the Palestinian aspirations “by recognizing the State of Palestine” as a member of the United Nations.