Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that no peace agreement would be achieved unless through mutual negotiations without precondition, keynoting that lasting peace will only be possible via the formula of a demilitarized Palestine and the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state.At the opening of the winter Knesset session, on Monday, Mr. Netanyahu said that ‘the borders of a Palestinian state cannot be drawn without assurance that it will not be a terrorist state’, asking ‘What is the point of drawing a border if we don’t know what country we will get on the other side?’.
Al Ray reports that, in his speech, Netanyahu made clear that Israel does not differentiate between the Fateh and Hamas parties, since the Palestinian Authority was not able to maintain control over Gaza and was defeated in just few days, by Hamas.
He also defended what he claimed to be the right of Israel to claim Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
‘Israel has the same right to build in Jerusalem as other nations do in their own capital cities, and there is a wide consensus in Israel to continue building throughout the city, as every government has done since Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 war,’ he said.
Israeli newspaper Haaretz described the PM’s speech as a rerun of a compilation of excerpts of past shows: ‘It was a rereading of his despairing speech to the UN General Assembly, translated into Hebrew.’
See also: Netanyahu Seeks to Codify ‘Jewish Statehood’ Into Law
In March of 2006, Hamas released its official legislative program, which clearly indicated that Hamas was willing to refer the issue of Israeli recognition to a national referendum. Under the heading ‘Recognition of Israel’, it stated: ‘The question of recognizing Israel is not the jurisdiction of one faction, nor the government, but a decision for the Palestinian people.’
The same year, following the Gaza election, the leader of Hamas sent a letter addressed to former US President George W. Bush, in which he declared that Hamas would accept a state on the 1967 borders, including a truce.
The Bush administration failed to reply.
In July of this year, Hamas leader Khaled Mashal stressed, in an interview with Charlie Rose, that the group was ready to ‘coexist with the Jews’ but would not tolerate ‘occupiers.’
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who mediated the long-awaited negotiations from their onset, last year, approved a drafted framework agreement which included Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state.
However, towards the end of the crisis-ridden peace talks, Kerry did point out that the PLO recognized Israel’s right to exist in 1988, but for them to officially recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish’ state would be tantamount to negotiations.
See imemc.org/article/69506 (10/25/14) for additional info.