Israeli PM to warn Kerry from retreating to 67 borders
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he will warn against retreating to Israel's pre-1967 borders with the Palestinian territories during Monday's talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in Rome.

"I will tell them that Israel, to a large degree, stands as a solitary island against the waves of Islamic extremism that are washing over the entire Middle East," Netanyahu said during a cabinet meeting.

"We also stand against the possibility of a diplomatic assault, i.e. an attempt to compel us – by means of UN decisions – to withdraw to the 1967 lines within two years," he added.

"This will lead to Islamic extremists to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem," he warned. "We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected."

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, for his part, called the Palestinian plan to seek the UN Security Council's recognition of a Palestinian state a "unilateral step that is far from any political settlement," according to the Israeli radio.

The issue can only be resolved by reaching an understanding with the Palestinian side, the minister added.

Earlier in the day, Palestinian Authority (PA)'s chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he will meet Kerry in London on Tuesday, a few days before the Palestinians are expected to push for a UN Security Council resolution to set a timetable to end Israeli occupation.

Erekat also stressed that the PA will submit the draft resolution to the UN Security Council within days as scheduled to end the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian draft resolution will seek to apply the "two-state solution," providing the Palestinians with an independent state within pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to recent statements by Abbas.

The draft resolution is expected to be submitted by the end of December.

Washington, which hopes to maintain its Arab allies in its coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group, hopes to avoid using its veto to torpedo the Palestinian draft resolution.

Peace talks between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators collapsed in April of this year over Israel's refusal to release a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners despite earlier pledges to do so.

The talks aimed to find a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the roots of which date back to 1917, when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East War. It later annexed the holy city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state – a move never recognized by the international community.

Last Modified: 2014-12-14 13:22:34
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