August 23, 2010

Netanyahu: Jewishness of Israel in return for an agreement

Al Jazeera - After spending weeks angrily insisting that any direct peace talks with the Palestinians be “unconditional,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today issued a number of demands for the talks to proceed.

Palestinian recognition of what he called the Jewishness of Israel is one of the conditions to reach a peace agreement, pointing out that this agreement is very difficult but possible.

Netanyahu said to his ministers in their weekly session that there are three basic conditions Israel upholds for the conclusion of the agreement, which are achieving the Israeli security considerations and a Palestinian recognition of Israel as a State for the Jews, and that this agreement constitutes the end of the conflict.

Meanwhile, Netanyahu confirmed that the 26 of next month is the expiry date of the decision to freeze settlement activities as decided by his government.

Israeli sources have revealed that security arrangements will be the first issue Israel demands to be discussed in the framework of the expected direct negotiations with the Palestinians.

Israeli Radio quoted unnamed Israeli sources, that Tel Aviv will demand to keep the Jordan Valley and the peaks of mountains overlooking it under its control to ensure Israeli control of airspace and "to prevent the smuggling of weapons and the infiltration of saboteurs" into the territory of a future Palestinian State.

Israel also demanded that the prospective Palestinian State not be allowed to have any military of its own and only have State police forces, while prohibited from holding any security agreement with any third party without the consent of Israel.

According to the radio, contacts were underway to determine the agenda of the talks that will be conducted by Netanyahu with President Barack Obama and other leaders and officials, who will participate in the launch of direct negotiations to be held in Washington early next month.


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