Obama Dispatches More Officials to Mideast in Bid to Reignite Talks

Netanyahu rejects claims that the stalled peace negotiations are responsible for the delegitimization campaign he says is being waged against Israel.

ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid
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ברק רביד - צרובה
Barak Ravid

Two senior officials in the Obama administration arrived in Israel on Sunday for talks in Ramallah and Jerusalem aimed at reviving the moribund peace process.

Also Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected claims that the stalled negotiations are the reason behind the delegitimization campaign that he says is being waged against Israel.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. left, and U.S. envoy George Mitchell ahead of their meeting in Jerusalem last week.Credit: AP

U.S. National Security Council Middle East Senior Director Dan Shapiro and David Hale, a deputy of U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell, are expected to meet with Netanyahu aides Isaac Molho, Ron Dermer and Uzi Arad in Jerusalem, and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and other senior PA officials such as negotiating team leader Saeb Erakat.

Addressing Jewish leaders and senior government officials, Netanyahu said that attacks being made against Israel today aren't based on wars or settlements, but rather are being launched against the existence of the Jewish state.

"There are those who believe that the motive for delegitimization is the policies of one government or another, but they are wrong," said Netanyahu.

"Even if we succeed in achieving peace, the attacks on Israel's legitimacy will continue. This is because their origin isn't based on the events of 1967 or 1948," he added. "The attacks are in opposition to the existence of the Jewish state. We can see throughout history that such attacks have increased particularly when Israel has used its right to defend itself."

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