Israel rejects Obama’s 1967 border agreement call

Israeli Prime Minister has rejected U.S. President Barack Obama’s call for an Israeli-Palestinian deal based on the 1967 borders.

In a blunt rebuke to Israel’s closest ally, Netanyahu said Israel was prepared to make “generous compromises for peace” but could not go back to its 1967 borders.

After lengthy talks at the White House on Friday, a defiant Netanyahu said there could be no peace “based on illusions.”

“[It] will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality,” he said.

“The only peace that will endure is one that is based on reality, on unshakeable facts.”

Obama admitted there were “some differences” between both leaders on the path to peace in the Middle East, but said that this “happens between friends.”

In a key speech to the State Department on Thursday, Obama said that any future Palestinian state must be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, when Israel occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank.

“The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states,” he said.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office after their meeting, Netanyahu insisted that the 1967 lines were “indefensible.”

The old lines did not take into account the “demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years,” he said.

An estimated 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has welcomed Obama’s proposal.

Washington’s partners in the Quartet of the Middle East peace mediators – the European Union, UN and Russia – have given their backing to the plan.

The head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, has also hailed the proposal.

MOSCOW, May 21 (RIA Novosti)

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