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Senate Leaders 'Support Israeli Stance in PA Talks'

Minister Yuval Steinitz says demands to freeze settlement, free terrorists are not even on the agenda.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 3/4/2014, 9:19 AM

Minister Yuval Steinitz
Minister Yuval Steinitz
Flash 90

Minister of International Relations, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs,Yuval Steinitz, who is accompanying Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his trip to the United States, said Tuesday that Isrtael's positions on the Iranian nuclear weapons threat, as well as in “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority (PA), enjoy wall-to-wall support in the US Senate.

The PA's demands that Israel cease building houses for Jews and release more terrorist murderers in exchange for an extension of the negotiations is not on the agenda, he told Voice of Israel public radio.

According to Steinitz, the heads of the Senate and House understand that the main obstacles to peace are the PA's refusal to recognize Israel as the state of the jewish people, and the terrible incitement against Israel.

Steinitz is accompanying Netanyahu on his visit to the US. Netanyahu met US President Barack Obama Monday and will address the AIPAC 2014 session.

Speaking at the White House before his meeting with Obama, Netanyahu said: “Mr. President, you rightly said that Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s self-determination in our ancestral homeland. So the Palestinians expect us to recognize a Palestinian state for the Palestinian people, a nation state for the Palestinian people. I think it’s about time they recognize a nation state for the Jewish people. We’ve only been there for 4,000 years.

“And I hope President Abbas does this, as I hope that he’ll take seriously Israel’s genuine security needs. Because, as you know and I think everybody does, in the Middle East, which is definitely the most turbulent and violent part of the Earth, the only peace that will endure is a peace that we can defend. And we’ve learned from our history – Jewish history, but I think from general history – that the best way to guarantee peace is to be strong. And that’s what the people of Israel expect me to do –- to stand strong against criticism, against pressure, stand strong to secure the future of the one and only Jewish state.

“And I think there is a partnership there, a partnership between Israel and America, that I think is important for this end.”