Netanyahu promises historic Palestine vote
Benjamin Netanyahu has promised Israelis the first referendum in their country's 65-year history to give voters the final say on any peace agreement reached with the Palestinians.
His pledge came as Israeli and Palestinian negotiators prepared to begin their first direct talks for three years, expected to be held in the coming week.
Acknowledging the antipathy within his own Right-wing coalition to the move, the Israeli prime minister, pictured, told cabinet ministers yesterday that resolving the decades-old dispute was too important to be decided by the government alone.
"It will be put to a referendum," he said.
"I believe that this is necessary.
"I do not think that such decisions can be made, if indeed an agreement is achieved, by this or that coalition process; it must be put to the people for a decision."
He said negotiations would not be easy but pledged to enter them "with integrity, sincerity and the hope that this process will be conducted responsibly, seriously and substantively". (© Daily Telegraph, London)