What Israel wants for its ‘worst nightmare’
Israel wants a ‘worst-ever nightmare’ for its Palestinians, it has been warned, as the country’s Prime Minister made clear he will not allow an agreement to be reached in Cairo.
Israel is set to begin negotiations with the Palestinians this week over the future of the Gaza Strip, which Israel captured from Egypt in a 1967 war.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he wants a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza.
“We want a Palestinian-Israeli state, a state of peace, of the right of return, the right to return all refugees, the return of refugees who are not Israeli citizens,” he told a joint news conference with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
“And a state that is independent, that is not beholden to anybody, that has sovereignty and jurisdiction over its own land.”
“This is the worst nightmare for the Palestinian people,” Mr Netanyahu said.
“The Israeli people, the people of the state of Israel, have been robbed of their future.”
Israel has long insisted that a two-state solution must be the basis for a lasting peace, and Mr Netanyahu has been pushing hard for a compromise.
On Monday, Mr Netanyahu warned that any agreement must include an end to Israeli settlements in the West bank and Gaza, which critics say amount to a blockade on Palestinian land.
The Israeli government also says it is committed to a two state solution but has repeatedly stressed the need for an independent Palestinian state.
In the past week, Mr Kerry and Mr Abbas have met in Cairo for talks that are likely to include the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, a Palestinian demand.
Israel wants to avoid a repeat of the failed negotiations that ended with the last two major peace accords between Israel and Egypt in 2000.