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Barak urges Netanyahu to advance peace initiative

Defence Minister Ehud Barak, in an interview with Israel Radio this morning, called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to wait until May to reveal a new Israeli initiative for moving toward peace with the Palestinians. Netanyahu is not yet on record regarding the new initiative, which according to media reports, is expected to include plans for the establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders. Unnamed government officials have been quoted in the Israeli media in this regard in recent days, though Netanyahu has said nothing to confirm these reports. Barak, speaking to Israel Radio, said that he was sure that the prime minister understands that the world would not continue to allow Israel to ‘rule over another nation.’  The defence minister also said that ‘risks’ were necessary to prevent Israel’s ‘international isolation.’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday in Ramallah reiterated his opposition to the idea of a state within temporary borders. ‘We know of a proposal that was made in the past,’ Abbas said. ‘If this proposal to establish a state with temporary borders is made again, we will reject it’ he said.