Israel intends 'partial' Palestine invasion even after peace deal

For the first time, Israel revealed its intention to partially invade on Palestinian territories, even after a peace deal is signed between the sides.

Israel intends 'partial' Palestine invasion even after peace deal

For the first time, Israel revealed its intention to "partially" continue decades of invasion on Palestinian territories, even after a peace deal eventually is signed between the sides.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would need to maintain a "presence" in the occupied West Bank even after a peace agreement is achieved.

Netanyahu spoke as US President Barack Obama's envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was due to start a new round of talks in Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah Thursday and Friday, part of the ongoing US bid to revive long-stalled peace negotiations.

Israeli PM cited "stopping rockets" as ground for the partial invasion.

The hard-line prime minister has said that Israeli security forces must be allowed to operate inside any future Palestinian state.

Referring to sporadic rocket attacks which are currently launched from Lebanon and Gaza, Netanyahu said Israel must be able to prevent such weapons from being brought into a Palestinian state based on the West Bank.

"We cannot afford to have that across from the centre of our country," he told a news conference in Jerusalem.

"In the case of a future settlement with the Palestinians, this will require an Israeli presence on the eastern side of a prospective Palestinian state," he said.

"Dictation"

The West Bank shares its eastern border with Jordan, one of the two Arab nations to have signed a peace treaty with Israel.

Netanyahu's apparent conditions are unlikely to be compatible with the Palestinians demand for a soveriegn state within the two entities pre-1967 borders.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected Israel plans as "absolutely unacceptable."

"The borders of the state of Palestine will be Jordan," Erekat told Israel Radio. "The Jordan Valley is ours, is Palestine. Why do they insist on being on our territory?"

Palestinians want to create an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem with no Israeli presence, military or civilian.

"Once again Netanyahu asks for dictation, not negotiations," Erekat said.

Since Netanyahu took office last year, he has been hesitant to refer to the concept of a Palestinian state and has not outlined how much, if any, of the occupied West Bank he would be willing to give over to Palestinian control.

American guarantees?

Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for the current impasse in the peace process.

"The Palestinians have climbed up a tree," Netanyahu said. "And they like it up there.

"People bring ladders to them. We bring ladders to them. The higher the ladder, the higher they climb."

Abbas was quoted as saying last weekend that if Netanyahu did not impose a full settlement freeze, another option was for Washington to define the parameters of a deal.

"American guarantees are not enough," Abu Rdainah, an Abbas aide, told Reuters. "What we are in need of is an Israeli commitment to implement the road map, which means a Palestinian state on the lines occupied in 1967 including East Jerusalem as its capital.

"This is the vital question and this is what the Americans should do in the coming days: get an answer from the Israelis."

Abbas has said he will resume negotiations on establishing a Palestinian state if Netanyahu stops all settlement expansion in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Abbas is expected to discuss his proposal with Obama's Mideast envoy, George Mitchell, who was to arrive in Israel later Wednesday. Mitchell is to hold separate talks with Netanyahu and Abbas on Thursday and Friday.



Agencies

Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2010, 12:04
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