Ezra: Netanyahu making promises
Photo: AP
MK Ezra: Netanyahu, Abbas too weak to make peace
Kadima MK says peace talks will not succeed because neither side has strong enough leadership

MK Gideon Ezra (Kadima) said Saturday he didn't believe either side of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians possessed a strong enough leadership for the talks to succeed.


"Benjamin Netanyahu and Abu-Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) are not strong enough. Bibi cannot make a move with the parties he has. The US is doing the best it can. The mediator, Mitchell, is going back and forth for nothing," Ezra said.


Speaking at a cultural event in Beersheba, he added that he believed Netanyahu had made promises to the Palestinian side that had not been made public, "otherwise Mitchell would not have come and gone".


"He at least promised not to build in the Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. But he doesn't say this. Abu-Mazen is talking about all or nothing, but I think there will be some kind of compromise," he said.


Ezra added that Defense Minister Ehud Barak was not as successful as he appeared. "There is a huge difference between what he says and what is actually being done," he said.


The MK also referred to kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, and said that "the State of Israel, which succeeded in getting to Entebbe, will not hesitate to get to Shalit as well".


He said that if Israel had known where the kidnapped soldier was being held during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, it would have tried to release him. However, he added, there is a difference between obtaining intelligence and releasing a soldier.


Speaking of a possible prisoner-swap deal, Ezra said Abbas did not necessarily want the release of Marwan Barghouti, who was sentenced to five life sentences in Israel.


"He is a natural leader," Ezra said of Barghouti. "The Palestinians need someone who can bring them all together, and there are currently no strong leaders in the Palestinian public."


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