Inicio NOTICIAS Deputy FM: ‘Dove of peace’ unlikely to emerge from meeting between Israeli, Palestinian officials

Deputy FM: ‘Dove of peace’ unlikely to emerge from meeting between Israeli, Palestinian officials

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Itongadol.- As long as the Palestinians are internationalizing the conflict, there is no chance for serious peace talks, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Monday, following a meeting last week in Amman between Israeli and Palestinian officials in Amman.

Hotovely, speaking of a meeting between Interior Minister Silvan Shalom and PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, said that Shalom did not tell her of the meeting in advance.

“Let\’s just say I don\’t think the dove of peace will fly out from that meeting,” she said. “He can do what he wants. It\’s a free country.”

Sources in Shalom\’s office said that the meeting was in the works for some time. It followed a phone call last week, the first in over a year, between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr.

Although no details from the meeting emerged, Shalom\’s office said he hoped that it would be the first of a series of meetings.

Shalom is Netanyahu\’s point-man on negotiations with the Palestinians, and a meeting such as this would not have taken place without the premier\’s consent. Israeli-Palestinian negotiations broke down in April 2014, when the talks brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry floundered.

Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Liberman, the former foreign minister, said he did not know what happened in the Shalom-Erekat meeting, but that “the Palestinian track is irrelevant for us, just as Abbas is irrelevant for us.”

Liberman said that Israel had to work toward a regional agreement that the Palestinians will be a part of, but that his party will “oppose any direct accord with Palestinians, because it will only make things worse, not better.”

An Israeli withdrawal from the West bank, he said, would lead to “kassmas on the Knesset.”

Shalom, at the Herzliya Conference in June, called for a conference of moderate states in the region that will focus on “peace and economics.”

“If the Palestinians will be serious and be prepared to sit down to real negotiations, I pledge to them that they will find in Israel a real partner,” he said. “I call on the Palestinians to renew negotiations without preconditions, and the sooner the better.”

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