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Netanyahu: 2002 Arab Peace Initiative Needs to Be Adapted

June 17, 2016
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Prime Minister Netanyahu

Friday, 17 June 2016 | Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly said that a long-dormant Arab peace initiative with the Palestinians (that he recently suggested could be revived) had to be changed before Israel could support it.

Netanyahu made the comments to members of his Likud party, according to Israeli media reports, after facing pressure from some members of his government over his recent comments on the Arab initiative.

“If the Arab nations grasp the fact that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes Israel demands, then we can talk,” Netanyahu said, according to the Haaretz newspaper, which cited two sources at the meeting. “But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’ — we’ll choose to leave it.”

Late last month, Netanyahu spoke of a 2002 Arab League proposal, saying it “includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.”

The Arab proposal essentially calls for Israel to withdraw from the territories it conquered in 1967 and to resolve the issue of refugees with the Palestinians, leading to the creation of a Palestinian state, in exchange for normalized relations between Israel and the Arab countries.

According to Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom, Netanyahu also told fellow Likud members that “the Arab initiative includes positive elements.”

“But it is clear that it must be updated in order to take account of changes that have occurred in the region in recent years,” he was quoted as saying.

Haaretz reported that Netanyahu had said the plan’s “negative elements” included what he described as the return of Palestinian refugees and the demand that Israel retreat from of all lands occupied in the 1967 Six Day War.

Posted on June 17, 2016

Source: (The World Jewish Congress originally published this article on 14 June 2016. Time related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: Ashernet