During a special Knesset session Tuesday, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu warned that the establishment of a Palestinian state would increase Israel's
vulnerability to rocket attacks.
The Likud chairman said he was opposed to another Israeli withdrawal from the territories, saying "on the eve of Rosh Hashana, the nation has already done its soul-searching and realizes that another pullout means relinquishing land to extensions of Iran.
"Now they tell us that we have a partner. Who is the partner, (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas? This is the partner?" Netanyahu said.
Earlier Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni presented the MKs with Israel's basic principles for negotiations with the Palestinians on a permanent agreement.
The guidelines for the peace talks call primarily for a differentiation between Gaza and the West Bank and for implementing the agreements reached according to developments on the ground.
"Stalemate is not an option, and when there is a window of opportunity we must open the door while safeguarding Israel's strategic assets," she said, adding that the dialogue with the Palestinians would "not blind the government's eyes".
According to the foreign minister, "in the short-term, talks with Abbas will not offer a solution for the goings on in Gaza. If the situation in Gaza persists, we will have to provide a long-term solution, and we must act to contain the Qassam rocket attacks.
"A Palestinian state is the only ultimate solution regarding the Palestinians' national identity," she said. "Any agreement will be brought before the Knesset for approval."