Netanyahu: Peace Will Be Based on Reciprocity

[Prime Minister's Office] Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: "According to the Hebrew calendar, today is the fourth anniversary of the disengagement. Israel uprooted approximately 10,000 Israelis - men, women and children - from their homes. To our regret, Gaza has become a base for Hamas-led, Iranian-sponsored terrorism; thousands of rockets and missiles have been fired at us." "We are not prepared to countenance rocket and missile fire of any kind on our cities....All firing will be vigorously responded to. Peace will go back to being based on reciprocity, not unilateralism. In the framework of the peace agreements, Israel expects that the Palestinians will recognize the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish People, that the problem of the refugees will be resolved outside Israel's borders, that there will be effective security arrangements and demilitarization, with international recognition and guarantees. These are not pre-conditions for the start of a peace process but the basic conditions for establishing a lasting and stable peace. Palestinian moderates should internalize this." "Israel is willing to open peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, with Syria and any other Arab country without pre-conditions. Whoever sets pre-conditions for opening negotiations delays the peace process. We wholeheartedly support President Obama's regional initiative. In the framework of that initiative, the Arab countries, especially the main Arab states, must contribute with normalization steps towards Israel."

2009-08-03 06:00:00

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