Israel: "Settlements Have Never Been an Obstacle to Peace"

(Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs) Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Jerusalem on Tuesday: "Apparently there is serious misunderstanding in the world regarding the concept of the settlements....The 'settlement' of exactly a six-minute drive away from where we are right now [the Foreign Ministry]. It is a veteran Jerusalem neighborhood, with some 40,000 residents." "So far, two peace treaties have been signed in the Middle East - between Israel and Egypt and between Israel and Jordan. The subject of Jewish settlements has never been an obstacle to peace. We have always reached peace agreements without any connection to the settlements issue. Moreover, the State of Israel has pulled out from the Gaza Strip dozens of thriving, flourishing settlements. We did a 'transfer' of nearly 10,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip, and what we got in return was Hamas rule and rockets on Sderot." "For nineteen years, between 1948 and 1967, Arab countries ruled Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and during all that time no one established a Palestinian state and no one talked of a Palestinian state."

2009-11-25 08:14:40

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