Israeli President, Shimon Peres, stated Friday that Israel needs to present its own initiative for peace in the region in order to avoid being obliged to accept a deal presented by other countries, mainly by the United States.His statement came as he visited an Israeli settlement in the Negev.
Israeli IBA News, Arabic version, reported that Peres refused to provide details on a peace initiative U.S President, Barack Obama, intends to present, and described the whole issue as “speculations”.
The Israeli President added that the best way for Israel “to avoid being obliged to accept a plan it does not want, is to present its own peace plan”.
Sources at Israel’s Prime Minister’s office, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that the
principles of Obama’s plan as published by the New York Times on Thursday are based on ideas presented by different U.S. Middle East envoys.
The sources added that Obama did not conclude the final touches of his plan yet, IBA Arabic reported.
Israel wants to keep its settlements in the occupied West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem. It also refuses talks over borders, natural resources and the internationally guaranteed Right of Return to the Palestinian refugees.
Israel also considers East Jerusalem as part of the ‘united greater Jerusalem’, describing it as “eternal capital of the Jewish people”.
East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel during the June 6, 1967, six-day war when Israel occupied the rest of Palestine (the West Bank and the Gaza Strip).
Similar to stances of previous Israeli governments, the current government of Benjamin Netanyahu believes in the so-called “Israel’s right” to construct and expand settlements in the West Bank, especially in occupied East Jerusalem, and its surrounding areas.
Settlements are illegal under international law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.
Netanyahu wants “peace talks” that focus on security arrangements with the Palestinian Authority in order to ensure Israel’s security needs are met at all times, and on what he dubs as economic peace with the Palestinians.