Bennett: Open to US peace, but Israel’s security comes first

Out of respect for the Trump administration, which is committed to Israel’s security, Israel will take seriously any peace proposal, Bennett said.

By: World Israel News Staff

Education Minister Naftali Bennett expressed cautious pessimism about the new US peace plan, stating that Israel “will study the peace plan out of respect for the US.”

Speaking on Sunday before entering the weekly cabinet meeting, Bennett stated that “in the past few days, we have been hearing about some peace proposal that might come from the United States to the region. We will study in depth any proposal that will be brought out of respect for the United States, which views Israel as a strategic national asset.”

Bennett underscored that “we will insist on the security and national interests of the state of Israel.”

US Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt toured the region last week in an effort to advance a comprehensive diplomatic solution.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Kushner and Greenblatt in Jerusalem.

“The teams discussed advancing the peace process, regional developments, and the security and humanitarian situation in Gaza,” a statement from Netanyahu’s office said.

After visits to Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, Greenblatt and Kushner were expected to provide details of the US-sponsored peace plan to the Israeli premier, with an eye to jump-starting negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), which has maintained a boycott of the Trump administration since its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and the subsequent US Embassy move.

While Abbas has repeatedly rejected Washington’s role in the peace process, King Abdullah II of Jordan met with Kushner and Greenblatt on Wednesday, declaring that the “US has an important role” in future talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

In the meantime, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said on Saturday that “American ideas or deals that bypass the Palestinian leadership’s position on Jerusalem, statehood and refugees will only lead to a dead end.”