Via Times of Israel, Israelis doubt Palestinians’ intentions, PM tells Kerry:
Speaking with Benjamin Netanyahu at a joint press conference before the first of several planned meetings between the two, Kerry said leaders on both sides of the tables already knew what would be included in a US-drafted framework agreement, but added that an agreement was “not mission impossible.”
“We know what the issues are and the parameters,” he said of a potential agreement. “The time is soon arriving when leaders will have to make tough decisions,” he added, and said that he would “work with both sides to narrow differences on a framework that will set guidelines for negotiations.”
However, Netanyahu, recalling Palestinian celebrations over a prisoner release earlier in the week, said he was skeptical over Ramallah’s commitment to peace.
“I know that you are committed to peace; I know that I am committed to peace; but, unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace,” Netanyahu said.
From the transcript:
PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Welcome back to Jerusalem, John. I want to use this opportunity to express once again my personal appreciation and the appreciation of the people of Israel for your unremitting personal efforts to advance peace between us and the Palestinians. I know that you’re committed to peace, I know that I’m committed to peace, but unfortunately, given the actions and words of Palestinian leaders, there’s growing doubt in Israel that the Palestinians are committed to peace.
A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas says – how can he say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women – axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets – what’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis and vis-a-vis the state of Israel? So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks, even after we learned that at least in one case – I stress, at least in one case – those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.
In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the state of Israel. This Palestinian Government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media – the government-controlled media – in the schools, in textbooks, in kindergartens. You see it at every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement, towards reconciliation and peace.
John, the people of Israel and I are prepared to make such an historic peace, but we must have a Palestinian partner who’s equally prepared to make this peace. Peace means ending incitement; it means fighting terrorism and condemning terrorism; it means recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people; it means meeting Israel’s security needs; and it means being prepared to truly end the conflict once and for all. If we’re to succeed in our joint effort, President Abbas must reject terror and embrace peace. I hope he doesn’t miss again the opportunity to give Israelis and Palestinians a better future.
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