Palestinians: Netanyahu peace outline unacceptable
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s parameters for a peace deal, outlined in a speech to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, fell far short of what is needed to resume negotiations, Palestinian officials said.
Nabil Shaath, an aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Netanyahu’s insistence on keeping key parts of the territories the Palestinians want for their state is a “declaration of war against the Palestinians.”
Israeli settlers, the Islamic militant Hamas and Netanyahu’s moderate parliamentary opposition also expressed criticism.
The Palestinians want to establish their state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, areas Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war. They have said they are ready for minor border adjustments through land swaps, to enable Israel to annex several of the largest of the dozens of Jewish settlements it has built on war-won land since 1967.
Netanyahu said Tuesday that he is willing to make “generous” territorial concessions, but also told Congress that Jerusalem must remain united as Israel’s capital and that Israel wants to keep key areas of the West Bank where tens of thousands of Jews have settled, as well as areas of strategic importance.