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Netanyahu: No new evacuees
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Barak: Abbas should negotiate
Photo: Yaron Brener
Netanyahu vows not to repeat 'mistake' of Gaza pullout
Prime minister says agreement with Palestinians must include recognition of Israel as Jewish state. Barak: Fatah congress rhetoric 'unacceptable'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said regarding a possible settlement with the Palestinians that "the evacuation from Gaza did not bring peace or security, and Gaza became a Hamas outpost ruled by Iran".

 

Speaking at the opening of Sunday's weekly government meeting he added, "We will not repeat this mistake. We will not create new evacuees."

 

The prime minister said the government would discuss extending the mandate for the care of the Gush Katif and northern Samaria evacuees, and that he would tour their communities on Monday.

 

He said the government would issue new orders to improve the lives of the evacuees as soon as possible. "This means economic rehabilitation, rehabilitation in every sense of the word, rehabilitation now and not later," he said, adding that he had asked his ministers for recommendations on how to do so.

 

Netanyahu also described a future peace deal with the Palestinians. "We are committed to the rehabilitation of our brothers, but one thing is clear – we will not repeat this mistake," he said.

 

"We want an agreement with two factors, the first of which is the recognition of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people and (the second of which is) a security settlement. In the case of Gaza, both of these factors were lacking," the prime minister said.

 

'Fatah rhetoric unacceptable'

Before the meeting Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "the rhetoric we hear from the Fatah Congress and the stances taken there are unacceptable to us, but we need to realize that there is no solution for the Middle East but a settlement".

 

"I advise Abu Mazen to enter into serious negotiations with us, and I advise the Americans under the leadership of President Obama to lead a process such as this in the Middle East, including the Palestinians, Syria, and additional countries," he added.

 

On Saturday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was reelected as the leader of the Fatah movement.

 

"We are here to liberate the Palestinian land and to form our state with Jerusalem as its capital," Abbas told the Fatah delegates who elected him – the only candidate running – unanimously.

 

"Time and time again we have recovered from failures and squabbles and this congress symbolizes the great energy that this movement, which fired the first shot in the Palestinian struggle, has," he said.

 

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