United States President Barack Obama and United Nations Middle East envoy Tony Blair pushed this week for the creation of a Palestinian Authority-led Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.
Blair met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday. He later told journalists that Netanyahu supports the creation of a PA state in principle.
The creation of a PA state is crucial, said Blair, who said such a state was “the only solution that will ever work.” Netanyahu would agree to give up Judea and Samaria to a PA state “if the right context can be created,” he added.
Netanyahu has avoided labeling the creation of a PA state Israel's only option, but has expressed commitment to the Road Map plan, which aims at the creation of such a state. The plan calls on the PA to fight terrorism.
Last week, Netanyahu said PA Arabs “should have the ability to govern their lives, but not to threaten ours.”
Speaking from Ankara, Turkey on Monday, Obama made it clear that his administration will push for the creation of a PA state as well.
"The United State strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security... that is a goal that I will actively pursue as president,” Obama said. Turkey is in a position to help both Israel and the PA, he added.
Obama called on Israelis and Arabs to “overcome longstanding passions” in order to reach peace.
Last week, Obama visited Saudi Arabia and expressed support for the 2002 Saudi Plan, which calls on Israel to cede all lands outside the 1949 armistice line and to accept millions of Arabs as citizens in exchange for recognition from dozens of Arab and Muslim countries.
Responding to Monday's remarks, Netanyahu aide Yossi Levi said, "Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment to Israel's security and his wish to promote the peace process. The government of Israel is committed to these two goals, and will soon formulate its policy to act in cooperation with the United States."