News / Middle East

Netanyahu: Israel Willing to Give Up Settlements for Peace

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking in Mountain View, California, March 5, 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures while speaking in Mountain View, California, March 5, 2014.
VOA News
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel would give up some settlements in a peace deal with the Palestinians.

In an interview taped for broadcast with Israel's Channel 2 television, Netanyahu said it is clear some settlements will not be part of an agreement and everyone understands that.

The prime minister said he will make sure that the number of settlements is as small as possible. He also said Jerusalem will remain under Israeli control.

The Palestinians want east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused Friday to recognize Israel as a Jewish state -- one of Netanyahu's major demands for a peace deal.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary John Kerry met with Jordan's King Abdullah in Aqaba to talk about the Middle East peace process talks. No details of their talks have been released.

Kerry acknowledged last month that Israel and the Palestinians may miss the April 29 deadline for a framework agreement, but, he said no one would worry if the talks take another nine months or maybe longer.

The talks resumed last July after a three-year lull. Kerry has refused to give any details on where the negotiations stand but said he "laughs" at those who say the peace process is going nowhere.

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