Ex-Mossad Chief: Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks Currently Impossible

At Knesset Committee hearing, Efraim Halevy states that the person who signs a peace deal with Israel will not be the same as the person who executes it; Kadima's Mofaz says Nakba Day clashes are precursor to September.

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians are currently impossible, former Mossad chief Efraim Halevy said Monday during a discussion at the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

"In the current situation, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are impossible," Halevy said in a discussion ahead of the expected Palestinian declaration of an independent state in September.

Netanyahu, Abbas - AP - Sept 2 2010

"The maneuvering space is growing narrower," said Halevy. "The Quartet's ability to affect peace talks is diminishing."

"The existing situation is a non-starter… what happened in the last two years is that what we wanted can't come to fruition: we can't reach a permanent peace deal because the person who would sign the deal is not the same person who would need to carry it out," the former Mossad chief stressed.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Shaul Mofaz warned Monday that Sunday's Nakba Day clashes are a precursor to what will transpire in September, when the Palestinian Authority intends on unilaterally declaring a state in the United Nations.

"The Israeli government is burying its head in the sand. Without any peace initiative, yesterday's events will repeat themselves in September," said Mofaz.

Mofaz said that Israel should not have waited for Sunday's Nakba Day clashes to understand that the reality in the Middle East has changed.

"The present government, headed by Netanyahu, isn't initiating anything," Mofaz said, adding that the Israeli government must be prepared for any situation come September.

The Palestinian Authority's Fatah faction recently struck a reconciliation deal with Gaza's Hamas, ahead of the Palestinians' plan to declare unilateral statehood in the United Nations in September.

The U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, resigned from his post last week, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for his departure, saying the PA set "endless preconditions" which obstructed his work as peace negotiator.