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Netanyahu reaffirms commitment to referendum following Palestinian peace deal

Israel's Prime Minister has again stated that he would like to put any proposed peace plan to a referendum in the Jewish state

by The Commentator on 2 May 2013 11:01

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has today reaffirmed his commitment to a public referendum following any prospective peace deal reached with the Palestinians.

The comments were made in a statement to the Swiss foreign minister, Didier Burkhalter, in which Netanyahu remarked, "If we get to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, I'd like to bring it to a referendum. And I'd like to talk to you about your experiences with that."

"If you can come to Switzerland, where you are any time invited, then I can show you the referendum, how it works, because we have all the time referendums," Burkhalter replied.

Netanyahu first said in 2010 that he would consider a referendum for any peace agreement reached with the Palestinians.

Commenting yesterday on Palestinian pre-conditions before peace negotiations, Netanyahu said, "The root of the conflict is not territorial. It started a long time before 1967. The Palestinians' lack of will to recognise the state of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people is the root of the conflict."

The remarks followed Arab League moves on Tuesday to revive and modify its 2002 peace initiative, which drew praise from Washington and Israel's chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni but no official response from the Israeli government.

The Saudi-led proposal offers full diplomatic ties with the Arab world in exchange for Israel's withdrawal from land occupied in 1967. It now also includes a reference to the principle of mutually agreed land swaps, a move hailed by Washington as "a very big step forward" thought sceptics have noted the previous failures of the Palestinians to cement any such agreement, even after Israeli co-operation.

Read more on: Benjamin Netanyahu, referendum, and palestine
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