With tensions already on the rise and the prospect of progress in the indirect peace talks already looking remote, Israeli Foreign Minister and long-standing peace talk opponent Avigdor Lieberman may well have finally done away with the last shreds of hope with his comments today.
Speaking at a press conference with his Russian counterpart, Lieberman announced that there was “no chance” of a Palestinian state being allowed to exist by 2012. Palestinian statehood is ostensibly the purpose of the indirect peace talks being directly by the US.
President Obama has spoken favorably of the idea of an independent Palestinian state being carved out of some portion of the occupied territories, though the right-far-right coalition in power in Israel is largely divided on the question, with a number of officials condemning the idea on general principle.
Foreign Minister Lieberman has previously proposed a plan which would involve expelling much of Israel’s Arab population into a nominally independent Palestinian state. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that the military must remain in total military control over the borders of a Palestinian state, including the borders between this state and other nations.
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