A top Palestinian official rejected a suggestion made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, according to which Israel should consider unilaterally withdrawing from the West Bank in case peace talks failed, saying on Wednesday that such a move would only serve to perpetuate the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Speaking at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) earlier in the day, Barak said: “We are a coalition of 94 MKs, this is the time to lead a diplomatic process,” adding, however, that if such an attempt failed, “we must consider an interim arrangement or even a unilateral move.”
“We are on borrowed time. We will reach a wall, and we’ll pay the price. People who are now in a coma will then ask how we didn’t see [this coming],” he added.
In response to Barak’s remarks, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ chief aide Nabil Abu Rudineh said later Wednesday that an “Israeli unilateral moves will lead to the formation of a Palestinian state in temporary borders, to which we object.”
“This policy will lead to the conflict’s continuation and not to a solution, burying the two-state solution,” Abu Rudineh said, adding that the Palestinian Authority was committed to “a final agreement in which a Palestinian state will be formed with Jerusalem as its capital.”
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