Former Foreign Minister MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu) responded to the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority on Saturday night, saying that it was time to admit that there is no solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Lieberman indicated that he would formulate an opinion on the negotiations in accordance with how they develop.
"It is important to negotiate - and even more important that negotiations be conducted on the basis of reality and without illusions," he said.
Lieberman noted that he has said many times that there is no solution to the conflict, at least not in the coming years. "What is possible and important to do is to manage the conflict," he wrote.
He said that Israel must not agree that the negotiations be conducted on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, reminding that the late former Minister Abba Eban “called them Auschwitz borders" due to the fact that they would guarantee Israel’s destruction. In addition, said Lieberman, it is important to make clear to the PA that "there will be no construction freeze. Not in Jerusalem and not in the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria."
"Given the fact that we will not agree to a freeze and to avoid surprises at the later stages, we should inform in advance, both the American mediator as well as the Palestinian side, the situation in the field and how many housing units are already in the works," added Lieberman.
“The maximal result we can aspire to is an interim long term arrangement based on security and economic cooperation, with the decisions on major issues, borders and Jerusalem, being postponed until much later,” said Lieberman. “Cooperation in security and economics is in the interest of both sides and first and foremost the Palestinian side.”
He added that the volatile situation in the Middle East must be considered during the negotiations. "Given the situation in the region and the inability of the Arab League, which has essentially collapsed, to bring peace even within its member states, it is absurd to pin hopes on it and make it a guarantor in an agreement and think that this has any practical significance."
As for PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Lieberman pointed out that he “does not represent the people of Gaza and even in Judea and Samaria the legitimacy of his rule is not clear from a legal perspective, as the elections in the Palestinian Authority were supposed to have been held more than three years ago and have been repeatedly postponed.”
Lieberman said that Abbas will not be able to sign an agreement marking the end of the conflict with Israel and will never give up the right of return, which would flood Israel with Arabs who fled Israel during the War of Independence and their descendants.
"Therefore, we should go to the negotiations with open eyes and with no illusions," concluded Lieberman.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that Israeli and PA negotiators will meet in Washington in the near future after an agreement was reached on the basis to resume peace talks.
Netanyahu said on Saturday night that renewing negotiations is a "vital" Israeli interest.
The Hamas terrorist group which controls Gaza was quick to pour cold water on Kerry’s announcement, saying that the “Palestinian Authority's return to negotiations with the occupation” is “at odds with the national consensus.”
Hamas said that Abbas, who heads Hamas’s longtime rival faction Fatah, had no legitimate right to negotiate on behalf of “the Palestinian people.”