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Netanyahu Scuttled Secret 2016 Peace Push With Arab Leaders

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined a peace proposal presented by then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a secret summit in 2016 with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi in Aqaba, Jordan, according to a Haaretz investigation.

The proposal included the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and renewed talks with Palestinians to eventually reach a two-state solution with the backing of Arab states.

Netanyahu told Kerry he would not be able to sell his right wing coalition on renewed talks, according to the report.

After the report was published Netanyahu acknowledged the meeting took place at Sunday’s Likud ministerial meeting, and claimed that he had initiated the summit, according to Haaretz. The Israeli newspaper said that it was initiated by Kerry.

Israeli politicians on the left lambasted Netanyahu for missing a golden opportunity to restart stalled talks with the Palestinians. Zionist Union opposition leader Isaac Herzog said on Twitter “history will definitely judge the magnitude of the opportunity as well as the magnitude of the missed opportunity.”

Contact Naomi Zeveloff at zeveloff@forward.com or on Twitter @naomizeveloff

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Netanyahu Scuttled Secret 2016 Peace Push With Arab Leaders

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