During EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s visit to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to re-start peace negotiations with the Palestinians if certain preconditions are met, Haaretz has reported.
Netanyahu’s prerequisite for commencing peace talks is for both sides to agree on the borders of Jewish settlements in West Bank.
The land dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians has been going on for decades. In order to resolve the conflict, numerous peace talks were arranged in the past, with little success. The last one of these peace talks took place last year.
The settlements in the West Bank are residential areas built by Israelis within occupied Palestinian territory. They are illegal under international law. The settlement dispute is one of the most controversial issues between Israel and the Palestinians.
The article on Haaretz quotes an unnamed diplomat saying that Netanyahu is already aware of the fact that the Palestinians would never agree to such a proposal and he is merely trying to depict an image that he is committed to peace and re-starting negotiations.
The Palestinian Authority’s foreign minister Riad al-Malki was not impressed and described Netanyahu’s move as “lies and deception."
Netanyahu’s Likud party came first in the last Israeli elections held in March. He established a right-wing coalition cabinet on May 7th.