Prime Minister Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at his official residence in Jerusalem after meeting with US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
Netanyahu says “it’s a special pleasure” to host the delegation before it travels together with Israeli officials tomorrow on the first ever commercial passenger flight between Israel and the United Arab Emirates
“It will pave the way for other countries to normalize their ties with Israel. I think for too long the Palestinians have had a veto on peace. Not only between Israel and the Palestinians but between Israel and the Arab world,” he says, referring to the US-brokered deal for Israel and the UAE to normalize ties.
He adds: “If we’d have to wait for the Palestinians, we’d have to wait forever. No longer.”
Palestinian leaders have sharply criticized the UAE for agreeing to normalize relations with Israel.
Praising Trump’s peace proposal, Netanyahu says no Jews or Palestinians will have to leave their homes, Israel will be able to annex areas of the West Bank and will retain security control west of the Jordan Valley.
He says the Palestinians, when they realize that their veto has dissipated, “will be hard pressed to remain outside the community of peace.”
Other states “are in line” to make peace with Israel, the prime minister says, noting that Kushner had been ridiculed for suggesting this process could happen. “We know that reality has changed,” says Netanyahu, “because we have changed it.”
Turning to Iran, Netanyahu hails the Trump administration for opposing Tehran’s “war machine” and pulling out of the nuclear deal limiting the Iranian nuclear program.