Peace Intrinsically Linked to Israel Self-Defence: PM

Peace Intrinsically Linked to Israel Self-Defence: PM

Any peace deal with the Palestinians must be based on Israel’s ability to defend itself if the agreement breaks down, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said just hours before a visit by Washington’s top diplomat.

US Secretary of State John Kerry is due back in Jerusalem on Thursday evening on his fifth trip in as many months as he seeks to coax Israel and the Palestinians back to direct negotiations which collapsed nearly three years ago.

Ahead of his visit, Netanyahu’s rhetoric has taken on a different tone and focused more on the substance of any future talks than on the obstacles to actually starting them.

Earlier, Haaretz newspaper quoted “a senior cabinet member from Netanyahu’s Likud” party as saying the premier would be ready to give up almost all of the West Bank if Israel’s security needs were met.