Friday, May 20, 2011

Israeli PM rejects 1967 borders pullout

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu (L) is set to hold talks with US President Barack Obama in Washington on Friday

Source: Press TV

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected US President Barack Obama's call for withdrawal from the occupied Palestinian territories based on the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu also rejected any pullout from East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

"Those borders are not defensible," and the establishment of a Palestinian state must not come "at Israel's expense,"Jerusalem Post quoted Netanyahu as saying on Friday.

In his Middle East policy speech on Thursday, President Obama called for the formation of an independent Palestinian state based on the lines before the 1967 Mideast war.

"We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states," said Obama.

Israel captured the West Bank, East al-Quds and the Gaza Strip during the 1967 war.

Netanyahu noted that he plans to keep the West Bank, including a strategic section of land along the Jordanian border that he believes is vital to Israel's security.

The prime minister said he would reiterate his security demands with Obama as he is scheduled to meet him at the White House on Friday.

The Palestinians oppose any Israeli presence in their future state, saying they will ask the United Nations to recognize their independence in September.

The UN General Assembly is expected to discuss the establishment of a Palestinian state in September.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been on hold since the two sides resumed the talks in Washington in September 2010.

The two sides failed to continue the talks after Tel Aviv refused to extend a 10-month partial freeze on its illegal settlement activities.

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