By Saed Bannoura
IMEMC & Agencies: Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, stated that Tel Aviv would not remove a single Israeli settlement in the occupied territories, and that any ideas proposed now to advance peace talks, “are just proposals.”
[Benjamin Netanyahu – PNN]
His statements came during the Davos Conference, on Friday, when he responded to a question about Israel’s settlements in the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank. His response referred to Israel’s settlements and settlement blocs, in the occupied territories, and not only the Jordan Valley.
“I will not remove any settlement”, he said, “I will not uproot any Israeli”.
Netanyahu stated that the United States just presented ideas and suggestions regarding a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Following the conference, Netanyahu held a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry, and discussed the political “process” between Tel Aviv and Ramallah.
He said Kerry is not talking about a framework agreement for a peace deal, but only presented ideas to Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
The statements came after Kerry said a frame agreement is closer than ever, and after a statement by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, who said that peace talks are based on a full Israeli withdrawal from the territories Israel captured in 1967, including Jerusalem.
Commenting on BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaigns around the world, the Israeli Prime Minister alleged that more international companies “are showing interest in investing in Israel.”
On his part, Kerry said that should direct peace talks collapse, the Israelis and Palestinians will be harmed by ongoing violence.
He also “warned” that, should the talks fail, “it will be impossible for Israel to continue its future as a Jewish democratic state”.
Kerry stated that the core issues the U.S. is working for are establishing an “independent” Palestinian state, security for Israel, a withdrawal of the Israeli army, and “an agreed solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees”.
He said that ending the conflict should be final; a full Palestinian recognition of the “Jewish State”, and an Israeli recognition of the “nation-state of the Palestinians”, Israeli daily, Haaretz, has reported.
The US official also said that Israel will become a strong state after achieving peace with the Palestinians, and that his government has a security plan for the borders between the occupied West Bank and Jordan.
There are more than 11.679 Jewish settlers living in the Jordan Valley, and more than 400.000 Jewish settlers living in Israel’s illegitimate settlements in the occupied West Bank, including occupied Jerusalem.
Israel’s settlements, built on Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, are illegal under International Law, and, along with the Annexation Wall, have turned the Palestinian communities into isolated cantons separating the Palestinians from each other, and from their farmlands and orchards.
Settlements are also built in vital areas in Palestine, including hilltops, water and natural resources, especially in the Jordan Valley, depriving the Palestinians from basic rights, including the right to their own land.