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Netanyahu condemns PA refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish State

US Officials acknowledge an extension to negotiations likely needed

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Posted on: 
4 Feb 2014
Netanyahu condemns PA refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish State

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement on Monday lashing out at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for his refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish State. "The chairman of the PA was quoted today as saying that he is not prepared to recognize the Jewish state. And this comes with him knowing that there will not be an agreement without recognition of the nation state of the Jews," Netanyahu said at the Likud faction meeting. "Now we will see if those same international actors, who until now have solely put pressure on Israel, will make clear to the Palestinian Authority what exactly will happen to the Palestinians if there will not be an agreement.

“Because, unless the Palestinians understand that they will pay a price for the failure of peace talks, they will prefer not to continue the talks," he added.

During the meeting, Netanyahu also told Likud activists, many of whom had angrily denounced recent statements by US Secretary of State John Kerry that Israel was in danger from increased economic boycotts, that Kerry had clarified his remarks to him and “once again stated he opposes boycotts” against Israel.

“This is an important clarification,” Netanyahu said. “It maintains the traditional American policy against the Arab boycott of Israel, in which the US both opposed and acted against such boycotts. We trust the United States will continue to actively oppose any boycotts against Israel.”

Other ministers in the government also reacted to Abbas’ recent statements, especially his proposal to allow Israel to gradually withdraw from the West Bank and the Jordan Valley over five years while NATO troops guaranteed security in those areas until the PA security forces were strong enough to take over.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennet scoffed at the idea, declaring that “only the IDF will guard our kids.”

Negotiations between Israel and the PA and overseen by the US are set to expire on 1 April, prompting US officials to acknowledge to the Jerusalem Post on Monday that an extension will likely be required.


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