Prime Minister-designate Binyamin Netanyahu told business people in Jerusalem on Wednesday that his government is “a partner for peace, prosperity, and rapid economic growth” for the Palestinian Authority.
Sidestepping PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that he accept the goal of establishing a new PA country within Israel’s current borders, the Likud party chairman told the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, “"I will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace.”
He said that his economic plan is not a substitute for a political plan but insisted that economic growth in the PA will help the Arab security forces “progress from policing to terror fighting.”
The Prime Minister-designate encouraged business owners “to invest in the Palestinian economy, and in the Palestinian-Israeli economic relationship.”
His speech followed by one day the Labor party’s ratification of a coalition agreement that gives him an absolute majority of 66 Knesset Members.
Abbas warned last Saturday that there will be no serious negotiations without a complete halt to settlement expansion in Jerusalem and the rest of the 'occupied territories.'” He declared, “Any new government in Israel must make clear it is serious about following the path of peace by openly accepting a two-state solution, alongside all of the other arrangements we have agreed to in the past.