Israeli sources reported that two senior American officials arrived in Tel Aviv on Sunday in order to hold talks with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv, and Palestinian officials in Ramallah, in an attempt to restart the stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The two officials, David Hale, a deputy to Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell, and Dan Shapiro, the U.S.. National Security Council Middle East Senior Director, will be holding talks with Isaac Molho, Uzi Arad and Ron Dermer, aides to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and senior officials including Chief Negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat.
Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported that Netanyahu stated that peace talks were not stalled due to what he called “delegitimization campaign against Israel”, adding that “the peace process was impacted by the attacks against the very existence of the Jewish state”.
He claimed that boycott campaigns, and other political moves against Israel, are not related to Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories.
Netanyahu also claimed that even if peace was achieved, “attempts to delegitimize Israel will continue”, and added that “whenever Israel defended itself, attempts to delegitimize it increased targeting the existence of the Jewish State”, Haaretz said.
The Israeli Prime Minister went on to say that the origin of these attempts is not based on what happened in 1948 or 1967 (referring to Israel’s establishment in historic Palestine in 1948, and its occupation of the rest of Palestine in 1967).
He failed to address core issues such as the Right of Return of the Palestinians who were pushed out of their homes and lands when Israel was established, Jerusalem, borders, natural resources and other core issues.