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Netanyahu says Israel wants peace

Jan. 15, 2013 at 7:03 AM
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JERUSALEM, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Israel is willing to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians if they agree to resume without preconditions, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

"Today there is no peace process because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won't agree to peace talks without preconditions. I'll make peace if my interlocutor is someone who doesn't embrace Hamas and doesn't greet the people who rained rockets on the country," Netanyahu said in an interview Monday on Israel's Channel 2 television.

"Our hand is outstretched for peace, but we can only do it if we are strong. If Abbas is willing to negotiate without preconditions he will find me at the table."

Earlier, King Abdullah of Jordan warned the ongoing stalemate could plunge the region into violence.

Meeting with members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in Amman, Abdullah warned if Israel maintains its fortress mentality, ignoring political changes in the region and peoples' aspirations for pluralism and dignity, it will become isolated from the rest of the region, The Jordan Times said, quoting a statement issued by the Royal Court.

He called on Palestinians and Israelis to embark on talks based on the two-state solution, which he said is the only formula to end the conflict. Such a solution will lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on 1967 lines with east Jerusalem as its capital, to live alongside Israel, the paper quoted him as saying.

Jordan, he said, will pursue efforts with international and regional players to reach a comprehensive peace deal that will end the Mideast conflict.

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