Diskin urges resumption of peace talks

Speaking with Channel 10 news, former Shin Bet chief urges renewal of talks, despite painful concessions. He stresses, however, he opposes prisoners' release. Source tells Ynet number of prisoners unknown

Former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin said Friday that "Negotiations were stuck in the mud," and that Israel is approaching the point of no return.


"Leaders on both sides – both ours and the Palestinians' – are stuck in the mud with little energy and mobility," Diskin told Israel's Channel 10 Friday.


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The former Shin Bet chief added that though many of the concessions needed in order to restart peace talks are painful, concessions need to be made in order to ensure the resumption of the peace process.


"If we don’t try, we'll never know. Doing nothing and saying 'let's wait and see what's going on' is something we've been doing for years. I don’t believe in that approach."


He warned against a point of no return regarding the peace process, saying "One day we'll see that this can simply not be done, because there isn't a government that is capable of making changes… At that point we'll need to either annex the land or give the Palestinians equal rights. Otherwise it'll be an apartheid state.


"That's why I think we have no choice but to give this thing a chance," Diskin noted.


He added that within a few dozen years, "we will become the minority between the river and the sea. Now the question is – do we want to live that way?"



On the issue of releasing Palestinian prisoners so as to relaunch peace talks, the former Shin Bet chief said "I am very much against releasing prisoners, surely to a disproportionate release dictated by terror groups. I was against it in the past; I was against it during the Shalit deal."


Despite reports that 104 prisoners, including Israeli Arabs, are on the list for releasem, a senior official told Ynet Friday that the number of the prisoners has yet to be determined.


Furthermore, the source added, a ministerial committee "will be authorized to approve the lists of prisoners, and they will discuss who is to be released, when and at which stage of the negotiations. The final number (of prisoners) is not clear yet, though we know who are the prisoners who were detained before the Oslo Accords .


As for the issue of Israeli Arabs, the source told Ynet that "Israeli Arabs were released in the past… the preoccupation with the issue of Israeli prisoners has been blown out of proportion."


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report



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פרסום ראשון: 07.27.13, 00:06
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