Israeli PM reiterates opposition to peace process with Palestinians
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has reiterated that there will be no "political [peace] process" with the Palestinians, sticking to his hard-line stance on the matter, according to local media reports on Sunday.
Israeli broadcaster Kan 11 reported that Bennett informed the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Security Committee in recent days that there would be no negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, despite his meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas.
The report said Bennett had "poured cold water" on the hopes of the left-wing Meretz and Labour party members in his cabinet regarding the possibility of starting dialogue with the Palestinians.
Bennett's right-wing Yamina Party is opposed to a two-state solution, while others in the coalition government - such as Meretz and the Labour party - are more supportive of a peace process with the Palestinians if conditions change.
"I talk to many world leaders, and they talk to me about cyber-security and Corona [virus], and certainly about other topics, but none of them asked me about the Palestinian issue," Kan 11 quoted Bennett as telling members of the committee.
He denied that the Palestinian cause is discussed with world leaders, contrary to what statements say, adding that the issue comes up as "protocol."
Bennett also reiterated his opposition to the establishment of a Palestinian state.
"I will not meet Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], and I will not talk with those who chase Israeli soldiers in the International Criminal Court for war crimes in The Hague, and pay salaries to "terrorists," he was quoted as saying during the committee meeting.
Israel strongly denies claims of war crimes despite its illegitimate practices against Palestinians and countless violations in the occupied West Bank.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid earlier this month also ruled out any talks with Palestinians when he becomes prime minister next year, in a rotation agreement with Bennett reached last year.