Olmert: Israel wants to restart talks with Palestinians

Monday, September 11, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said yesterday that Israel will look for a way to restart talks with the Palestinians in order to create a new political horizon. Olmert said that Israel will not retreat from the roadmap and the steps stipulated in the plan.

“The Roadmap is better than any other document that could be produced by the international community and especially the demand to dismantle the terror groups as a condition to any progress,” he said. “We must not be caught in a deadlock with the Palestinians. We need to find a platform that will give hope and reshape the political horizon.”

Olmert also said he is willing to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas with no prior conditions. “In the past, they placed preconditions. During the war I suggested that we meet, but it is clear that what I was willing to do before Gilad Shalit was kidnapped I will not do today and as long as he is in captivity, we will not be releasing any Palestinian prisoners.”

Meanwhile on the political front, Transportation Minister and member of the Security Cabinet Shaul Mofaz called yesterday to form a National Investigative Committee to probe the failures of the war in Lebanon.

“A National Investigative Committee is necessary in order to bring back the trust of the people in the national leadership,” Mofaz said in a statement published yesterday. “Other committees did not work, and there is no more time to waste. The committee must be formed immediately.”

Officials close to Mofaz, who has served both as army chief of staff and defense minister, say he is not worried that the committee will investigate his own performance in those two positions from the time Israel withdrew from Lebanon and until the war. Officials close to Olmert say that the call for an investigation is motivated by politics.

Sources in Jerusalem say that Olmert is currently looking into appointing a former judge to head the Government Inquiry Committee in place of Nahum Admoni.

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