Less than a week after implementing a partial freeze on Jewish construction to entice the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday lamented that apparently his so-called peace partners are not interested in talking.
"Are we entering a process, or are we not entering a process? We are willing to enter into a process. So far it remains unclear whether the Palestinian Authority and its leaders are willing to enter into a process," Netanyahu said at an event in Eilat marking the November 29, 1947 UN decision to recognize the Jewish state.
Netanyahu went on to warn the Palestinians of turning to alternative means of wresting control of Judea and Samaria.
"It is impossible to solve the conflict if you do not sit around the negotiating table. There is no other way to do it," he said.
The Palestinians, for their part, accuse Netanyahu of not wanting peace because he refuses to meet their precondition of halting Jewish construction in all the areas they claim, including much of Jerusalem.
But Netanyahu dismissed the Palestinian position, and noted that many in the international community are starting to realize who is the real obstacle to peace.
"I think it is clear to anyone observing objectively, anyone who looks at the facts, that Israel wants peace. I do not see the same willingness or determination yet on the Palestinian side. I see other signs. I see all kinds of preconditions not to carry out negotiations," the prime minister stated.