Israel's prime minister has said that peace will not be achieved except when the "incitement" stops and "Israel's security and settlement interests are guaranteed." Speaking at the 7th Galilee Conference held in Tiberius, Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We react strongly and immediately when we are subject to an attack, and we are working to prevent attacks." He stressed that "quiet" is necessary and peace depends not only on Israel "but also its neighbours".
In an attempt to take the moral high ground, Netanyahu compared Israelis with Palestinians in what could be interpreted as an openly racist statement: "Yesterday, it was possible to see the difference between us and the Palestinians; while we are taking painful steps [sic] to put an end to the conflict, our neighbours, along with their highest leaders, are celebrating the release of prisoners, despite the fact that they are talking about murderers, not about heroes." This, he claimed, is not how peace is reached, or how one educates the people about peace.
Silvan Shalom, the minister responsible for the development of the Negev and the Galilee, told the audience, "There is a consensus in Israel on the need to preserve and develop the area of the Jordan Valley." He noted that Israel does not want "global jihad elements" to spread across the region, fire missiles or get through to the heart of Israel on foot. Israel is insisting that its army must remain in the Jordan Valley as part of any final agreement reached with the Palestinians.