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Peace is no kiss, Israeli aide says

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A top adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used an odd turn of phrase to explain what some see as a puzzling demand put to Palestinians by the right-wing leader as a condition for any any Israeli agreement to establishing a state in the occupied West Bank.

Netanyahu wants Palestinians to recognise Israel explicitly as a Jewish state, in addition to their having recognised Israeli sovereignty as part of an interim peace deal in 1993. He feels this would symbolise an historic end of conflict, his aides have explained.

At a briefing summing up Netanyahu’s first 100 days in office, advisor Uzi Arad and several other officials rejected criticism from centrist Kadima party leaders who accused the Israeli leader of achieving little on the diplomatic front since his government was sworn in late in March.

Netanyahu had clearly laid out the terms for any future peace deal, they said.  Arad emphasised what he saw as the importance of seeking further Palestinian acceptance of Israel’s existence, before Israel would agree to Palestinians achieving statehood in territory Israel captured in a 1967 war.

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