PM says Palestinian issue won’t obstruct Israel ties with Arab states

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will forge ties with Arab states — with or without a peace deal with the Palestinians.

“Peace with the Palestinians is a worthy goal in and of itself, and there is no doubt that making progress to this end will help our ties with the Arab states, but does not guarantee that they will be lasting,” says Netanyahu, according to tweets from a spokesperson.

He suggests the Palestinians are responsible for undermining flourishing Israel-Arab relations in the aftermath of the Oslo Accords, but also indicates that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict no longer poses an obstacle to reconciliation with Israel’s neighbors in the region.

“The fact is that our relations with Arab states that were forged following the Oslo Accords were interrupted by Palestinian intransigence and terrorism,” the prime minister says.

“The fact is that our relations with Arab and Muslim states are being renewed in the absence of a peace process with the Palestinians. This indicates that these relations, which are based on Israel’s assets and power, are to a large extent stronger and more stable,” he says.

“We will not condition the development of our relations with the Arab world on peace with the Palestinians. We will pursue peace with everyone, and we will move forward with our neighbors and the countries of the region who want peace. Many want it,” he says.

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