Palestinians reject Netanyahu's terms for two-state solution

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Tel Aviv (Israel), June 15 (ANI): Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's terms for a two-state solution, has been rejected by Palestinian leaders, who felt the Middle East peace process would be further "sabotaged" if the terms are accepted.

Netanyahu had said he would support the creation of a Palestinian state on two conditions - that it would be dimilitarised and two, that Palestinians would recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Palestinian leaders said he had set impossible conditions for a Palestinian state and called on the international community to confront the Israeli premier.

The Telegraph quoted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman, Nabil Abu Rdainah, as saying: "Netanyahu's remarks have sabotaged all initiatives, paralysed all efforts being made and challenges the Palestinian, Arab and American positions."

Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the speech "closed the door to permanent status negotiations".

He added: "We ask the world not to be fooled by his use of the term Palestinian state because he qualified it. He declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, said refugees would not be negotiated and that settlements would remain."

Yasser Abed Rabbo, an adviser to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian leader, said: "The international community should confront this policy, through which Netanyahu wants to kill off any chance for peace. They must isolate and confront this policy which Mr. Netanyahu is adopting and exert pressure on him so that he adheres to international legitimacy and the road map," he added, referring to a US and European-supported 2003 peace plan.

The Palestinians said they were particularly irate over Netanyahu's condition that they recognize Israel's legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state, ensuring Palestinian refugees and their descendents who have lived outside of Israel's borders since 1948 are not allowed to return.

Netanyahu's speech was intended as an answer to President Barack Obama's address to the Muslim world in Cairo on June 4 in which he said he expected Israel to make significant moves towards peace with its Palestinian neighbour.

By saying "yes" to a Palestinian state, Netanyahu hoped to relieve some of the unusually intense scrutiny and pressure Israel has been facing from the US administration.

President Obama, who said that his endorsement of the eventual creation of a Palestinian state was "an important step forward," has welcomed Netanyahu's speech. (ANI)

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