Yesterday, Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, announced that 'Israel' rejects any foreign attempts to impose a timetable for the establishment of a Palestinian State. AFP has quoted Ayalon as saying "What does the imposition of a timetable mean? We are in no need of a timetable. We must not rush and we must not try to please everyone." He added "we must not offer new concessions or sign a new agreement because one of the parties is in a hurry: simply because one party says that the establishment of a Palestinian State must take place within two years."
Ayalon, a member of the "Yisrael Beiteinu" party led by Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, criticised efforts by Washington to set in motion indirect negotiations with the Palestinian Authority and with the US as an intermediary. He added "Everyone is talking about indirect negotiations, this is wrong. The line taken with the Palestinians should have been to tell them they offer no gift to anyone by coming to the negotiating table."
According to UPI, Ayalon has come in for severe criticism from Martin Indyk, former US ambassador to Israel and adviser to US envoy, George Mitchell. Ayalon has responded by saying "there is no doubt that Israel should take into account US national interest in the same way that the US takes into account our national interest. However, our first obligation is to think of ourselves and our own security."
Source: Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultation