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Israeli PM says no to international troops

June 9, 2013 at 8:28 AM

JERUSALEM, June 9 (UPI) -- Israel cannot rely on international forces for its security, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said during Sunday's weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

The prime minister referred to the decision by the United Nations peacekeeping forces in the Golan Heights Thursday to pull out 380 Austrian troops from the U.N. Disengagement Observer Force on the Syrian-Israeli border, following the fierce fighting between pro-Syrian regime army forces and rebel forces in Quneitra, The Jerusalem Post said.

Israel cannot rely on international forces for its security or allow it to become a condition in any future agreement with the Palestinians, Netanyahu said. The Israeli leader said he would raise the issue in discussions this week with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

The issue of deploying international forces surfaced during attempts by the United States to jumpstart Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and referred to the deployment of international troops in areas Israeli army forces may withdraw from in any future peace agreement, the newspaper said.

Netanyahu stressed that any agreement with the Palestinians would be based on a demilitarized Palestinian state that would recognize Israel as the home of the Jewish people and on security arrangements based on an Israeli military presence.

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