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Netanyahu Plan Calls for Fresh Approach to Peace With Palestinians


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is calling for what he says is a fresh approach to peace with the Palestinians. But Mr. Netanyahu is making no mention of a two-state solution.

Netanyahu has dispatched key officials in his administration to the United States and Europe to sell his government's new policy - one that analysts say will be difficult for the international community to accept.

The Netanyahu administration wants to abandon the old formulas of trading land for peace and creating a separate Palestinian state; plans that the new Israeli leaders say are not working.

His administration says Iran and its support for Hamas and Hezbollah - militant groups that want to destroy Israel - are the real problem.

Mr. Netanyahu addressed members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobby in Washington, via satellite from Jerusalem late Monday. He said he believes it is possible to achieve a final peace agreement with the Palestinians, but that it requires a fresh approach.

"The fresh approach that I suggest is pursuing a triple track toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians: a political track, a security track, an economic track," he said. "The political track means that we're prepared to resume peace negotiations without any delay and without any preconditions, the sooner the better."

The Israeli leader wants to boost the Palestinian economy, saying that jobs and prosperity will give young Palestinians hope in the future and prevent them from being - in his words - "hostage to a cult of death, despair, and hate."

Mr. Netanyahu made no mention of a two-state solution, putting him at odds with the United States, which has called on all sides to work for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

Palestinian leaders say they are prepared restart negotiations only if a two-state solution is one of the goals.

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