Livni says Israel recognizes need for Palestinian state

Sunday, November 09, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told international peace brokers known collectively as the Middle East Quartet on Sunday that Israel recognizes the need to create a Palestinian Arab state, so long as the Palestinians promise to not engage in violence against the Jewish state.

Livni was speaking at a gathering in the Egyptian Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh marking the one-year anniversary of the Annapolis peace summit.

Livni told Israeli media prior to the meeting that her goal was to lessen pressure on Israel in the short-term as the nation gears up to elect a new government in February.

Livni's top challenger, Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu, is running on a platform that calls into question continuing the current land-for-peace process, which has seen Israel surrender large chunks of land to the Palestinians while receiving more violence in return.

Netanyahu says he wants to freeze the current process and examine an alternative, long-term approach to peace based on economic agreements and initiatives.

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