Palestinain President Mahmoud Abbas has expressed his wish that NATO troops replace Israeli Defense Forces occupying the West Bank. The Palestinian President indicated that this would remove a major obstacle towards a two state solution.
France has raised this as a possible solution to the problems in the West Bank and has made an offer to host peace negotiations, something which Israel has rejected.
“Now we talk about the French initiative… Its purpose must be to implement the visions of both states, based on the border agreement of 1967 and the capital of the Palestinian state being eastern Jerusalem, so that both countries can live side by side, in safety, stability and peace – if Israel wishes to seek peace,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech at a meeting of foreign ministers at the Arab League.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejects the idea of anything other than direct negotiations with the Palestinians, saying that any external influence by France or any other country would bring support to the Palestinian cause.
“Israel adheres to its position that the best way to resolve the conflict between Israeland the Palestinians is direct, bilateral negotiations,” the statement read. “Israel is ready to begin them immediately without preconditions. Any other diplomatic initiative distances the Palestinians from direct negotiations.”
At a meeting of foreign ministers of the Arab League, Abbas acknowledged the recognition of an Israeli state, but would not recognize any strictly Jewish state.
“We have previously recognized the state of Israel but we will not accept or recognize the terms of a Jewish state. We demand a Palestinian state on Palestinian lands and we will not allow any Israeli presence inside Palestinian territory,” President Abbas said.
[RT] [The Guardian]