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Netanyahu: Israel ready for painful compromises

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to make "painful compromises" for peace with the Palestinians yesterday.

It was the first time for him to explicitly state that some West Bank settlements would find themselves outside Israel's final borders.

He also tacked on a list of often-stated conditions that have been unacceptable to the Palestinians.

A senior Palestinian official in the West Bank immediately rejected Mr Netanyahu's peace outline as a "declaration of war".

Speaking before a warmly receptive joint meeting of Congress that showered him with more than two dozen sustained standing ovations, Mr Netanyahu said that Israel wanted and needed peace but repeated his flat rejection of a return to what he called the "indefensible" borders that Israel had before the 1967 Middle East war.

He also restated Israel's refusal to repatriate millions of Palestinian refugees and their families to homes in Israel that they lost in fighting over the Jewish state's 1948 creation.

Mr Netanyahu also maintained anew that contested Jerusalem could not be shared with the Palestinians.

Irish Independent