Jerusalem, Sep 1 (EFE).- Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Wednesday that although he is a firm believer in the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it is currently unfeasible for both sides.
Lapid’s remarks came during a press conference in Jerusalem, three days after Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the first high-level face-to-face meeting in years.
“It is not realistic to speak of peace negotiations in the current circumstances, and not only on this side of the border,” Lapid said.
Lapid, the chief architect of the government that ended Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year rule, managed to draw together eight parties that have little in common to form the new coalition government.
While Lapid, the centrist politician who will take over as prime minister in August 2023, supports the two-state solution, his partner and current premier Naftali Bennett is a former settler leader who openly opposes the creation of a Palestinian state.
“We cannot expect great advances with the Palestinians. This is a government focused on domestic issues, such as the economy or the pandemic, but also on healing the country after so many years living between hatred and division,” Lapid said, referring to Netanyahu’s government that suspended peace negotiations with the Palestinians in 2014.
“But if after all that, the situation is adequate to return to the negotiating table, we will do so,” he added, saying the priority now is to improve the lives of the Palestinians and maintain stability.
The future prime minister also highlighted complications on the Palestinian political scene fueled by an anti-Palestinian National Authority (PNA) sentiment, with 85-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas being the main target for accusations of corruption.
“There have been no elections there since 2006 and everything depends on a man who is already 85 years old,” Lapid said.
The Abbas-Gantz meeting, which took place shortly after Bennett met President Joe Biden in a visit to the United States, resulted in an agreement to loan the PNA $155 million and grant work permits to an additional 16,000 Palestinians