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Netanyahu 'interim' deal blasted by Palestinians
Published Tuesday 28/12/2010 (updated) 29/12/2010 14:38
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JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that an "interim agreement" with the Palestinians could be a solution if efforts to clinch a comprehensive peace accord fail.

But his suggestion was swiftly rejected by the Palestinians who insisted on an overall agreement that would take into account the fate of Palestinian refugees and the thorny issue of Jerusalem.

"There could be an situation in which talks with the Palestinians hit a brick wall over the issues of Jerusalem and the right of return (of refugees), and in that case the result would be an interim agreement," Netanyahu said in an interview on Israel's Channel 10 television station.

"It certainly is a possibility," the prime minister said.

"But if the Palestinians accept a demilitarized state and renounce de facto to the right of return, I'll go all the way and I think that the majority of the country (Israel) will follow me," Netanyahu added.

A spokesman for Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas shot down the suggestion.

"For the Palestinians, any suggestion of reaching an interim agreement is unacceptable because it omits Jerusalem and the issue of refugees," he said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat also dismissed Netanyahu's suggestion, saying: "interim solutions are rejected part and parcel."

"It's now time for final solutions that include Jerusalem, refugees, borders, security, settlements, water and the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails," he said.

Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the first for nearly two years, began in Washington on September 2. But they stalled when a partial 10-month freeze on Israeli settlement building expired on September 26.

The Palestinians refused to resume negotiations without a new moratorium and Washington admitted on December 7 that it had failed to convince Israel to renew the building curbs.

Palestinian negotiators have emphasized a set of alternatives to new talks, including seeking recognition of a Palestinian state along the borders that existed in 1967, before the Six Day War.
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1 ) Nabil / Palestine
28/12/2010 14:46
Enough talk, President Abbas. Your promises are empty until you can deliver what you preach. Everyday we hear about the PA government threatening to uniliaterally declare a Palestinian state on 1967 borders but at the end of the day do you have the courage to do what you say or is it all just worthless talk?

2 ) izzy / usa
28/12/2010 21:30
what about my grandfather who had a farm in syria and was kicked out and all his lands confiscated in 1947. can he get that back? if so, we got a deal.........didnt think so

3 ) BornFree&Equal / Scotland
28/12/2010 23:14
Izzy - trying to confuse the issue doesn't help. Israel claims to be a democracy yet it has ruled the occupied Palestinian territories for over 40 years and refuses to end the occupation. Indeed, it continues to steal territory with illegal settlements. It has to choose - either one state (give Palestinians a vote) or two states - abandon the settlements. Unless it chooses one or the other it cannot claim to want peace.

4 ) Hussam / Palestine
29/12/2010 09:53
Izzy, your grandpups does not wish to return to Syria, you and I both know that. He is more interested to remain in a 'Jewish country' (as if Jews in the Middle East were historically prosecuted!? They were evicted in some places in retaliation of Jewish crimes of ethnic cleansing in Palestine) The Palestinian refugees do want to return to their homes however. They have a right under international law to return to their country of origin.

5 ) Tony B? / ME
29/12/2010 14:33
#4) The persecution of Jews and their eviction from surrounding Arab countries was happening long before 1948. So your claims are just typical Arab lies.
#3) Whats confusing the issue? You would be the first to agree 'justice' is the issue. But the last when it comes to justice for Jews.
And may I remind you that those territories are the Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria. The green line was a armistice line, not a boarder. The only boarder is on the other side of the river with Jordan.

6 ) BornFree&Equal / Scotland
29/12/2010 20:55
Tony B - yes the Green Line is indeed an armistice line. The Israeli border really should be the lines of the UN partition plan but Israel taken more. International Law does not accept a "Jewish" or Biblical claim to the lands of Judea and Samaria. The lands were taken by military force and justice requires that the people of those lands be treated fairly. Of course there must be justice for Jews - I stand for equal rights for all - not a state that favours one group over another.

7 ) Outsider / EU
06/01/2011 12:24
I'm missing something: the Israeli cabinet refused a ten-year ceasefire with Hamas, but is now talking about an interim agreement.

8 ) Tony B? / ME
09/01/2011 13:47
6) Yes, justice does require fair treatment, but it does not require the Israelis to give up land they won in a war that was perpetrated by their enemies. Or to give that land to people who are still acting as their enemies.
There is not another country in the world who would be required to do what you seem to think the Israelis should do.
How would you like it if England started bombing Scotland whilst offering peace if you give them the lowlands? Do unto others as you would be done to!
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