PM: No Palestinian state without talks
Following reports of Palestinian plan to unilaterally declare statehood, prime minister plans to announce Israel rejects this notion, stress that solution lies in negotiations. Meanwhile, President Peres in South America says 'Palestinian state cannot be established without a peace agreement. It's impossible and it won't work'
Palestinian plans to possibly unilaterally declare a state continues to yield reactions in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to reject the increasingly strengthening Palestinian imitative during his speech at the Saban Forum in Jerusalem on Sunday.
He will warn the Palestinians against moving forward with the initiative, emphasizing Israel's objection, and will stress that the solution for the establishment of a Palestinian state can be found in negotiations with Israel.
Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres, who is currently visiting South America, told reporters accompanying him in Brazil that "a Palestinian state cannot be established without a peace agreement. It's impossible and it will no work. It's unacceptable that they change their minds every day. Bitterness is not a policy."
Peres is scheduled to travel to Argentina on Sunday under tight security, amid fear of a mass anti-Israeli protest. Ynet has also learned that one of the main events the president is meant to attend was relocated due to security concerns.
Lieberman: Withdrawal won't end conflict
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned in a speech at the Saban Forum on Saturday that a withdrawal to the 1967 borders will not end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"A return to 1967 borders and the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria will not end the conflict, but rather, shift it into Israel's borders," he said, adding that such circumstances would prompt Arab-Israeli demands for autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev.
Lieberman took part in a session with US deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and journalist David Ignatius at the forum.
Former US President Bill Clinton is scheduled to take part in the forum Sunday. In a speech earlier, Clinton said that he is convinced that an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement would have been finalized within three years had Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin not been assassinated.
Lieberman's comments came hours after chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told al-Ayyam newspaper that the PA was garnering international support to declare a state. "All Arab states support the idea, and a date has been selected to raise the matter at the Security Council," he said.
Erekat said he had discussed the matter a number of times with American and European sources, and that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has also raised the issue in talks with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Russian sources, and that they all responded positively.
Abbas, according to Erekat, will continue to seek support of the idea during his visits to South America and Europe this week. "Talks with the Europeans and the UN in the matter are ongoing," he added.
Amnon Meranda contributed to this report