Benny Gantz believes Jerusalem is "spacious" enough for a Palestinian capital whilst still remaining united, according to an interview in a Saudi newspaper published Thursday.
Gantz who serves as defense minister and alternate prime minister told the Arabic language newspaper Asharq al-Awsat that Jerusalem is a "spacious city that is full of sites which are sacred for all".
"They want and need an entity in which they will live independently. A state or a kingdom, they can call it whatever they like," Gantz said. "It is in their right to have independence and a capital which will be a solution to all deadlocked issues."
The Blue & White chair, however, stressed the city, which is also the official capital of Israel, must remain undivided.
Gantz added that he does not see peace in the Middle East without a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and called on the Palestinian Authority and its leader, President Mahmoud Abbas, to come back to the negotiating table.
"I want Palestinians to be part of the peace process. The push for normalization within the Arab world is a great and tangible opportunity," he said.
The centrist leader also said that Israel will not return to its pre-1967 borders, which means withdrawing from all territories captured from Jordan during the Six-Day War that the Palestinians seek for a future state, but the sides can reach a compromise.
The former IDF chief also revealed that he had already visited a majority of Arab states with clandestine visits as part of his military service and said he would love to go on an official tour.
He warned against what he called the "Iranian axis" in the region, saying it posed a threat to both Israel and Arab states, pointing to countries like Syria and Lebanon as examples of its corrupt influence.
While Israel views Jerusalem as its official and undivided capital, while the Palestinians want its eastern part as their own capital under a two-state solution.
A peace plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this year placed the Palestinian capital in Abu Dis, a small town near Jerusalem.
The story was reprinted with permission from I24NEWS