Netanyahu swerves left; willing to give up land

Monday, January 23, 2006 |    

After taking a hard line against Ariel Sharon’s concession of the Gaza settlements, Likud chair Benjamin Netanyahu moved leftwards toward center saying he is prepared to make territorial concessions as part of an interim agreement and final-status agreement with the Palestinians. With elections looming less than three months away, the former prime minister said he favors taking immediate steps to reduce friction with Palestinians such as decreasing the number of checkpoints and increasing freedom of movement along roads. Netanyahu did not say he supports a Palestinian state, but said, “You have to leave something for negotiations.” Netanyahu’s aides said this “defining speech” sets the Likud's updated platform and positions it on the center-right side of the political map.

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