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Peres: Netanyahu stopped peace deal in 2011

May 7, 2014 at 10:42 am

Israeli President Shimon Peres said yesterday that he had reached a peace deal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped the agreement.

In an interview on Israeli TV’s Channel 2, Peres said that he had conducted a series of secret meetings with Abbas in Amman in 2011 where they drafted of a peace deal however Netanyahu spoiled the efforts.

“We had gone through all the points and the agreement was ready,” Peres explained during the interview on the occasion of Israel’s Independence Day or Nakbah as it’s referred to by Palestinians.

He said Netanyahu had asked him to wait for a better offer which he expected to be proposed by the Quartet’s peace envoy in the Middle East Tony Blair.

“Netanyahu told me to wait a few days because he thought Tony Blair could get a better offer,” Peres said, “the days passed and there was no better offer.”

During these talks, Peres said Abbas agreed to recognise Israel a Jewish state and an Israeli proposal on the border issue. “He was supposed to agree to a Jewish state and we were supposed to agree to recognise a Palestinian state,” he explained.

“We issued maps and, instead of speaking about 1967 borders, we spoke about the size of the state. This issue could be solved via land exchange between the two entities. Settlement blocs could be built. Abbas agreed on this.”

Regarding the issue of the refugees, Peres said that Abbas agreed to a solution that would not shake the Jewish state. “He agreed for the issue of the refugees to be solved in a just and agreed upon way.”

Netanyahu’s office denied Peres’ claims that a peace deal was imminent. “The only agreement [Abbas reached] was with Hamas,” Netanyahu’s office told Times of Israel. “He who hugs a mass murderer [Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal] on our Memorial Day is not looking for peace with Israel.”

Peres said that he did not carry out unilateral measures in this regard, his actions were agreed upon by the prime minister. “Netanyahu was a partner in every step,” he said.

He described Abbas as a real peace partner. “I have known Abu Mazen [Abbas] for 30 years and the truth is he has fought terror with the resources that he has,” Peres said during the interview. “He talks about peace and makes courageous remarks,” he added.