Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a peace initiative presented by the Arab League in 2002 requires modification before Israel can consider it as a relevant, possible solution to the conflict with the Palestinians.

Israeli media reported that Prime minister Netanyahu spoke to members of his Likud party on Sunday about the Arab Peace Initiative after facing pressure from some members of his government who raised concerns over his recent comments on the Initiative.

“If the Arab nations grasp the fact that they need to revise the Arab League proposal according to the changes Israel demands, then we can talk,” Netanyahu said, according to the Haaretz newspaper, which cited two sources at the meeting. “But if they bring the proposal from 2002 and define it as ‘take it or leave it’ — we’ll choose to leave it.”

In late May, Netanyahu spoke of a 2002 Arab League proposal, saying it “includes positive elements that can help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians.”

The Arab proposal calls for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and from the other areas it re-conquered in 1967 and to resolve the issue of refugees with the Palestinians, leading to the creation of a Palestinian state, in exchange for normalized relations between Israel and all Arab countries.

“It is clear that it [the Arab initiative] must be updated in order to take account of changes that have occurred in the region in recent years,” he was quoted as saying by Israel Hayom.

Haaretz reported that Netanyahu had said the plans’ “negative elements” included what he described as the return of Palestinian refugees and the demand that Israel retreat from all lands conquered in the 1967 Six Day War.

By: United with Israel Staff

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