Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview with the Washington Post on Thursday that he is committed to reaching an agreement with the Palestinians.
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In the interview, the prime minister said that he is willing to restart negotiations with the Palestinians, but their demand that Israel halt settlement construction as a precondition serves as an obstacle.
"We should enter immediately into negotiations without preconditions," he told the Washington Post. "If Secretary Kerry, whose efforts we support, were to pitch a tent halfway between here and Ramallah — that’s 15 minutes away driving time — I’m in it, I’m in the tent. And I’m committed to stay in the tent and negotiate for as long as it takes to work out a solution of peace and security between us and the Palestinians."
Netanyahu also stressed that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must be solved in order to prevent the development of a bi-national state.
"I don’t want a bi-national state," he told the Post. "I want a state for the Jewish people alongside a state for the Palestinian people…. It’s the balance between effecting a separation between the Israelis and Palestinians and assuring that the Palestinian state does not become an Iranian outpost that concerns my efforts vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Israeli peace process."
Netanyahu also warned against new Iranian President Hasan Rowhani, saying that his strategy is to calm the international community while quietly moving toward a nuclear weapon.
"What Iran is seeking is not one or two bombs but 200 bombs," Netanyahu was quoted as saying. "They’re building ICBMs [intercontinental ballistic missiles] parallel to developing their nuclear weapons program. The ICBMs are not intended for us; they’re intended for you. Within six to eight years, they intend to be able to reach the continental United States."