Photo: Shahar Azran
Photo: Yonatan Zur

Netanyahu: Unilateral Palestinian path will unravel past agreements

PM tells Saban Forum there is 'no substitute' to negotiations, unilateral steps by Palestinians towards statehood will be met by 'one-sided Israeli measures.' Adds: Iran hell bent on destroying Israel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday there was no alternative to negotiations to secure peace and that any unilateral moves by the Palestinians would unravel past agreements.  


"There is no substitute for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and any unilateral path will only unravel the framework of agreements between us and will only bring unilateral steps from Israel's side," Netanyahu told the Saban Forum in Jerusalem.


Palestinian officials said earlier on Sunday they were planning on taking their quest for independence to the UN Security council, aiming to secure international support for a state.


Netanyahu said Israel was prepared to take concrete steps towards peace within the framework of the negotiations, adding that the Jewish state has already taken measures to ease Palestinian movement and daily life in the West Bank.


The Israeli leader called on the Palestinians to resume talks at once, saying Israel would agree to jumpstart negotiations with no preconditions.


Netanyahu said Iran was hell bent on destroying Israel and that the regime in Tehran will continuously work to sabotage any efforts to achieve peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. The PM said thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions would significantly weaken Hamas and Hezbollah, and therefore dramatically increase the chance for Mideast peace.


'Hezbollah rearming'

According to the PM, Hezbollah has rearmed itself with at least three times as many rockets as it had at the conclusion of the Second Lebanon War. He mentioned Israel's recent interception of an Iranian arms vessel that was carrying thousands of rockets and shells apparently destined for the Shiite group's operatives in Lebanon.


Earlier on Sunday, former US President Bill Clinton called upon the Israeli public during his speech at the Saban Forum not to be negative towards the current American administration.


In an interview with journalist Nahum Barnea, Clinton said that he does not think Israelis need to feel so negatively towards US President Barack Obama, mentioning that Obama came into office at the end of Operation Cast Lead and did all he could to prevent the adoption of the Goldstone Report.


Clinton said that he would not be surprised if the current administration will be the one to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Reuters contributed to the report


פרסום ראשון: 11.15.09, 21:06
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