JERUSALEM, Dec. 26 (UPI) -- An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will likely not be reached even within 10 years, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.
Peace won't be achieved because the Palestinian National Authority is trying to internationalize the conflict rather than work toward peace, Lieberman told a conference of Israeli diplomats.
Therefore, Israel must simply manage the conflict and not try to solve it, he said Sunday.
"In the next decade, this will be the situation and we need to know how to deal with it in the best way possible for both sides," Haaretz quoted Lieberman as saying.
"No territorial concession will solve the real issues -- refugees, security arrangements and Jerusalem," said Lieberman, an ultra-nationalist in Israel's right-wing coalition led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
Lieberman, born in the Soviet Union and now living on the West Bank, said having Israel revert to its 1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps -- a plan proposed by U.S. President Barack Obama in May as the basis for peace talks with the Palestinians -- would simply give the military arm of Hamas new locations from which to fire artillery rockets into central Israel.
In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly in September 2010, Lieberman said peace with the Palestinians was "decades" away.
Lieberman said the conflict would only be resolved when "a broad, prosperous and influential middle class emerges within the Palestinian Authority."
The authority had no immediate comment on Lieberman's statements.
Lieberman also said Israeli had no reason to apologize to European nations that condemned Israel's West Bank construction policy and the growing rightist violence.
"We don't need to apologize -- quite the contrary," he said. "Israeli democracy has nothing to be ashamed of -- even in comparison with the glorious British democracy -- and we do not need tips on how to handle rioters who break the law in Judea and Samaria or in any other place in the country."
European members of the U.N. Security Council -- Britain, France Germany and Portugal -- condemned Israel's West Bank construction and attacks by settlers on Palestinians.