Unless the Palestinian Authority agrees to recognize Israel as the Jewish state there will be no deal, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday.
Speaking to members of the Likud-Beytenu Knesset faction, Netanyahu said that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas “knows full well” that without such recognition there could be no agreement.
Such recognition would be a major price for the PA to pay, and Netanyahu does not believe the PA is willing to pay it.
“If they do not make this concession there cannot be an agreement,” Netanyahu said, adding that he did not believe the PA would be willing to make it.
Israel, Netanyahu said, would not surrender on this key demand, because otherwise there would be no guarantee that the PA would stop making more demands for territorial concessions, even after the agreement.
Last month, Abbas said that the PA would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state, telling US Secretary of State John Kerry that this was a “red line” for him.
The Prime Minister's comments come amid growing Israeli criticism of the initiative being pushed by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Senior officials, including government ministers, have voiced their concern that the plan is distinctly one-sided - an opinion bolstered by Kerry's recent use of threats of an international boycott to encourage the Jewish state to accept the framework agreement, due to be submitted in the coming weeks.