Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that the chances of reaching a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will diminish should the United Nations approve the Palestinian demand on international recognition of an independent state this September.Netanyahu made his statement following his Wednesday meeting with 26 U.S. Congress members in Jerusalem.
“Should the UN approve this Palestinian unilateral movement, the chances to achieve peace will diminish”, Netanyahu said, “the only way to peace is through direct negotiations, we are ready to start peace talks without preconditions”.
As for the crisis between Tel Aviv and Ankara, the Israeli Prime Minister claimed that Israel wants to restore its ties with Turkey, ties strained after Israel killed nine Turkish peace activists after it attacked the Mavi Marmara solidarity ship, part of the Freedom Flotilla that was heading to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies.
Israel is lobbying in the United States and Europe against the Palestinian UN bid and is threatening to shun the Palestinian government in the West Bank and is withholding millions of dollars of taxes it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank as Israel controls all border terminals.
Netanyahu claims that the UN bid will make the Palestinians lose US aid money, and will push the US to stop its training of Palestinian security officers.
Last Sunday, Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, threatening to cut all communications with the Palestinian Authority, and called for isolating it.
It is worth mentioning that Israeli President, Shimon Peres, also met with the visiting US Congress members and informed them that the declaration of the Palestinian State will only lead to extending the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
Peres said he hopes direct peace talks will be resumed before September and added that “Israel and the Palestinians know that the alternative to peace will be a series of unfortunate mistakes”.
The Palestinian Authority in the West Bank withdrew from direct talks with Israel due to its ongoing violations, invasions, and the ongoing construction and expansion of Jewish-only settlements in occupied East Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.