Cabinet unanimously approves declaration: no unilateral recognition of Palestinian state

In declarative move, Netanyahu with support from Gantz, says only direct negotiations without pre-conditions can determine end of Israel-Palestine conflict; warns terrorism must not be awarded by international community

Yuval Karni, Moran Azulay, Lior Ben Ari|
The cabinet on Sunday, issued a statement rejecting a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the international community. In a declarative move the statement, that was made in the weekly cabinet meeting stated that any decision must come after direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, without pre-condition. It did not include an outright rejection of the notion of a future state along side Israel.
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""Israel absolutely rejects international diktat regarding the permanent arrangement with the Palestinians, the declaration reads. "Such an arrangement will be achieved only by direct negotiations between the parties, without preconditions. Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state. Such recognition, following the October 7 massacre, will award an immense and unprecedented prize to terrorism, and prevent any future peace agreement."
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Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Yanatan Zindel/Flash 90)
The proposed declaration, approved unanimously by the ministers, was raised after reported U.S. plans to hasten recognition of a Palestinian state, according to a report in the Washington Post last week, which led to angry reactions from the coalition.
"In light of recent discussions in the international community about attempts to unilaterally impose a Palestinian state on Israel, I bring before the government a declarative decision for approval. I’m confident it will receive very broad agreement," Netanyahu said.
Netanyahu's proposal was coordinated with Ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot, from the National Unity Party and was finalized last Thursday in a private meeting between Netanyahu and Gantz.
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בנימין נתניהו, בני גנץ, גדי איזנקוט
בנימין נתניהו, בני גנץ, גדי איזנקוט
Gadi Eiesenkot, Benny Gantz, Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Yoav Dudkevitch, Miriam Elster)
Minister Gideon Saar demanded more forceful wording during the cabinet meeting. "A unilateral international recognition of a Palestinian state will be remembered like the Munich Agreement in 1938. A Palestinian state would mean a Hamas state."
National Unity Party Minister Yifat Shasha-Biton said the working of the declaration implies Israel is willing to negotiate the establishment of a state. "It should be altered so that it’s clear that we’re not willing to do so as long as we’re fighting Hamas," she said.
Netanyahu agreed and revised the statement accordingly adding to the wording that the matter would be resolved only through direct negotiations, "to the extent such an arrangement is achieved."
Meanwhile, Arab news outlets claimed on Sunday that Israel has decided to send a delegation to Qatar in an attempt to reach a breakthrough in talks for a hostage release deal following the meeting between Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and President Isaac Herzog on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference - but Israel denied the report.
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