Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Israeli PM rebuffs US president demand

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Source: Press TV

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has once again rebuffed US President Barack Obama's demand for returning to the 1967 borders.

Addressing the US Congress on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that Israel could not return to the "indefensible" borders which existed in 1967.

"Any peace deal must take into account the dramatic demographic changes that have occurred since 1967," he said.

Netanyahu made the remarks after he took the same stance in his address to the annual conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Washington on Monday.

Obama in his Middle East speech last week insisted that the borders issue should be the basis for stalled direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The US-sponsored negotiations between the two sides cancelled after Tel Aviv refused to extend its partial 10-month freeze on settlement activities.

Netanyahu also said that the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas was not a partner for peace with Israel.

The Israeli premier also rejected Palestinians' demand of having East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as the capital of the future Palestinian state.

"Jerusalem must never again be divided. Jerusalem must remain the united capital of Israel," he said.

Israel occupied al-Quds and the West Bank in the 1967 war and later annexed it -- despite opposition from the international community -- in line with plans to grab the entire al-Quds as what it refers to as its "eternal, indivisible capital."

Meanwhile, a Palestinian official said on Tuesday that Netanyahu has added more obstacles on the road to peace with his speech.

On Monday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the two sides should have two states “with secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

Commenting on President Obama's position, she said, “As the president now has said twice in the last three days, this is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.”

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