Netanyahu Says He'll Honor Israel's Commitments

Ad Feedback—JERUSALEM—Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu told US Middle East envoy George Mitchell that his under his leadership Israel "would honor all its international commitments and would take no action to contradict them."  Netanyahu didn't mention specifically which commitments, but the most significant commitments by previous governments were outlined in former President Bush's "Road Map" peace plan, and include limits on construction in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, evacuation of illegal outposts, and a promise from the 2007 Annapolis summit to hold final status talks on the creation of a Palestinian state.

The Netanyahu-Mitchell meeting in Tel Aviv Thursday was their first since Netanyahu was chosen to form Israel's next government.  Netanyahu's concession to honor previous commitments may have been aimed as much at Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni as the Obama White House.  Livni had demanded that final-status talks take place as a condition for her party to take part in a unity government.

Netanyahu also told Mitchell that his government would "reassess Israeli foreign policy and proceed with the peace process with the Palestinians in its own way.  He warned that talk of reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah should not be pursued because it would likely encourage radicalism in both Gaza and the West Bank.

Many had expected Mitchell to bring up the issue of Jewish settlement expansion, which the Obama administration opposes, but it wasn't mentioned.

Sources:  Ha'aretz, The Jerusalem Post

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