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05:15, 20 March 2018 Tuesday
14:28, 05 March 2018 Monday

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Israel Labor leader calls for 'demilitarized' Palestine
Israel Labor leader calls for 'demilitarized' Palestine

Labor Party chief Avi Gabay makes appeal at annual AIPAC conference in Washington DC

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli opposition leader Avi Gabay has called for the establishment of a “demilitarized” Palestinian state with a view to “separating” the Palestinians from Israel and preserving the latter’s “Jewish majority”.

Gabay, leader of the Israeli Labor Party, made the remarks at the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), which convened Sunday evening in Washington D.C. 

He also criticized Israel’s continued policy of building Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories under the right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

Gabay, who heads up the Zionist Camp opposition coalition, also welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. 

Referring to the U.S. administration’s plan to restart stalled Palestine-Israel peace talks, he said: “I hope President Trump's plan will begin to restore confidence. We should not give up on this dream.”

“We should separate ourselves from the Palestinians,” Gabay added, expressing his belief that the achievement of peace would serve to ensure Israel’s long-term security.

Reiterating the longstanding Israeli position vis-à-vis Iran, Gabay went on to assert that Tehran should not be allowed to maintain a nuclear program. 

“Nor will we allow [Lebanon’s] Hezbollah to attack our citizens in northern Israel, and we will not allow Hamas [in the Gaza Strip] to threaten those living in southern Israel,” he said. 

The annual AIPAC conference was attended by a large number of Israeli officials, including PM Netanyahu. 

Palestine-Israel peace talks broke down in 2014, due largely to Israel’s refusal to end its longstanding policy of settlement-building in the occupied West Bank.

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