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Netanyahu says Israel cannot go back to 1967 borders

05-21-2011 09:43 BJT

WASHINGTON, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu said here on Friday that Israel cannot go back to the 1967 lines with the Palestinians as they are "indefensible."

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, May 20, 2011.
(Xinhua/AFP Photo)

After meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, Netanyahu told reporters that "Israel wants peace, I want peace. What we all want is a peace that will be genuine, that will hold, that will endure."

"We both agree that a peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality," Netanyahu said, with Obama sitting at his side.

"I think for there to be peace, the Palestinians will have to accept some basic realities," the prime minister added. "The first is that while Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible, because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years."

In a major speech on the Middle East and North Africa on Thursday, Obama called on the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders "with mutually agreed swaps," so that "secure and recognized borders are established for both states."

Netanyahu challenged Palestinian National Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to make "a simple choice" -- keeps his pact with Hamas or makes peace with Israel.

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