Israel can make peace with PA but not Hamas: Netanyahu

Israel is ready to have negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but it can`t have "peace" with extremist group Hamas.

Washington: Israel is ready to have
negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, but it can`t have
"peace" with extremist group Hamas which "seeks its
destruction", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

"I don`t think we can make peace with an organisation
that seeks our destruction. That`s Hamas. I think we can make
peace with the Palestinian Authority. It requires a lot of
courage from our side, from me.

And it also requires courage from Mahmoud Abbas, the
President of the Palestinian Authority," Netanyahu told Fox
News in an interview.

"It`s going to be a very tough negotiation, but one
that I think our peoples are ripe for. Is Hamas going to be a
part of it? No. As long as it wants to destroy Israel, it`s
not going to be a part of it," he said ruling out any talks
with Hamas at this point of time.

"Now, at this point, I could tell you we`ll never
negotiate with the Palestinian Authority as long as Hamas is
in Gaza. That`s not my position.

I think we should get on with it and seek to
negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
We`ll have to deal with Hamas later," he said.

The Prime Minister said he thinks there is no
substitute for getting into direct talks right now and seeking
to break this logger jam, to actually go ahead and try to
negotiate a final peace settlement.

At the same time, he remained non committal if a
Palestine State is possible by 2012.

"I think there can be a solution. It may be
implemented over time, because time is an important factor of
getting the solution, both in terms of security arrangements
and other things that would be difficult if they`re not
allowed to take place over time," he said.

Netanyahu said one should stay focused on the real
problem in the Middle East.

"It`s not Israel. It`s these dictatorships that are
developing nuclear weapons with the specific goal of wiping
Israel away," he said.

PTI

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