NETANYAHU ON TRUMP PEACE DEAL: ‘THE US KNOWS OUR SECURITY INTERESTS’

 

Washington knows full well what Israel’s national and security interests are, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said prior to the weekly government meeting on Sunday where he dismissed premature media reports about the details of the Trump Administration’s plans for Israeli and Palestinian peace.

“We heard a lot of speculation over the weekend [about the US peace plan],” Netanyahu said.

‘My attitude toward this plan will be determined according to national and security interests, and we’ve made those clear to our American friends,” Netanyahu said.

He spoke after Channel 2 reported that US President Donald Trump was working on a peace plan that recognized a Palestinian state.

It would not be based on the pre-1967 lines and would not include the uprooting of Jews and Arabs. But it would include territorial swaps.

According to the report, Israel would maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley.

The Jerusalem Post separately reported that the administration has not set a timeline for the process.

But Israeli politicians immediately reacted to the Channel 2 details with Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) threatening that his party, which is a member of the coalition, could leave the government.

Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said that Israel would work with the US on its initiative but that he knew nothing of the plan detailed in the media.

“In any event, it’s our understanding that at this time it’s not possible to have a solution like a Palestinian state,” Erdan said.

Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) dismissed the idea of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley.

“There is room for only one state between the sea [Mediterranean] and the Jordan [River], and there is no space there for Palestinian state.”

Since 2009, Netanyahu has spoken in support of two states for two people.

He recalled that Sunday marked the 40th anniversary of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s historic visit to Jerusalem, which paved the way for a peace deal between the two countries.

“President Sadat took a very courageous step by coming to the Knesset and to Israel. He was welcomed by the entire people,” Netanyahu said.

Peace between the two countries has withstood the test of time, Netanyahu said.

Today, Egypt and Israel, as well as other countries, are on one side of the barricade in a stubborn struggle against the terrorism of radical Islam and its various facets,” Netanyahu said.

An alliance with Israel’s moderate neighbors in this battle, “is a significant contribution to Israel’s security. I hope that, in the future, it will contribute to the expansion of the circle of peace,” Netanyahu said.

 

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