Netanyahu pledges plebiscite on Palestinian peace deal

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pledged that any final accord negotiated with the Palestinians will be brought to popular referendum. He said the first stage of the talks with the Palestinians will be conducted behind closed doors “to enhance the chances of results. They won’t be easy. Both sides will have to make substantial concessions to span differences. Netanyahu promised that any deal will be predicated on consideration of Israel’s security needs and national interests. Israeli sources deny knowledge of any US letter to the Palestinians promising the 1967 borders would be the basis of negotiations.

Several senior members of the prime minister’s Likud and some of his government coalition partners have voiced objections to the creation of a Palestinian state and concessions on prisoners, land and settlements. The left-wing opposition promises full backing for negotiations with the Palestinians.

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