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Netanyahu said to be seeking alternatives to status quo in West Bank

TEL AVIV (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly will consult with advisers on ways to change the Israeli-Palestinian status quo in the West Bank.

Netanyahu’s shift, reported by Haaretz, came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday in London regarding the possibility of restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which were suspended last month. The meeting ended with little progress, the French news agency AFP reported.

A State Department official told AFP that according to Kerry, “While the door remains open to peace, it is up to the parties to determine whether they are willing to take the steps necessary to resume negotiations.”

When Israel entered the latest round of negotiations last year, Netanyahu cited the need to prevent Israel from becoming a binational Jewish-Palestinian state. He repeated those sentiments in an interview this week with the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun during a trip to Japan.

“I don’t think the status quo is desirable,” Netanyahu said in the interview, according to Haaretz. “I don’t want it, and I’m engaging in consultations with my own coalition partners and with others to see if we have other alternatives because I think the status quo is not a good idea, because I don’t want a binational state.”

 

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