Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denies that he ever demanded that the Palestinian Authority accept
Following Netanyahu’s meeting with U.S. Envoy George Mitchell last Thursday, news media reported that the Israeli Prime Minister had told Mitchell that he would not begin a dialogue with the PA as long as it does not recognize
Ha’aretz reported at the time that a senior official in Netanyahu's office quoted the Prime Minister as telling Mitchell ,"
Another news agency said that Netanyahu’s words to Mitchell regarding the precondition were leaked by “aides who briefed reporters after the meeting on condition their names not be disclosed.”
The Reuters news agency reported that said the earlier reports were based on “comments last week on the issue by a senior official in the Prime Minister's Office.”
The PA was quick to respond to the report. Its negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday that the PA “completely rejects
Four days later, however, Netanyahu is denying that he ever set such a condition for dialogue.
The Prime Minister "is insistent in his approach that recognition of
Without recognition, "it will not be possible to advance the diplomatic process and reach a peace settlement," it said, but added that contrary to reports, the Prime Minister “never made that a precondition for the opening of negotiations and dialogue with the Palestinians."