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Israeli Defense Minister: Peace Is Closer Than Ever

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said Israel is “far closer” to an agreement with the Palestinians than it has been before.

In an interview with Israel’s Channel Thursday, Liberman expressed confidence that an offer of normalized relations with Arab states would bring the government and people of Israel on board.

“We are far closer to an agreement than ever before,” he said. “If someone comes and puts a deal on the table that includes an agreement with all the moderate Arab states, including the opening of embassies, trade relations and direct flights, I believe that it will get an overwhelming majority in the Knesset and among the people.”

Liberman, the head of the hawkish Yisrael Beiteinu party, suggested U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration had played a role in creating an “arrangement,” but declined to provide details.

Asked how a deal would be realized, Liberman said, “Because Trump has arrived on the scene and because, as I keep saying, the Arab countries have internalized that their problem is not Israel. Israel can be a solution to the problem.”

Liberman has long said he does not believe peace is possible in the foreseeable future. 

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