Israel has long advocated dialogue with pragmatic leaders on the Palestinian side. Despite all the difficulties, Israel believes that the present situation is an opportunity that must be taken advantage of. As the Annapolis meeting approaches, Israel’s goal is to reach understanding on the widest possible common ground, in the time available.
While the Annapolis meeting will not be a place for negotiations, it will certainly be a starting point. After Annapolis, it is expected that Israel and the Palestinians will enter into vigorous, ongoing and continuing negotiations, dealing with the fundamental issues which are a condition for realizing the vision of two states living side-by-side in security and peace.
It must be ensured that the future Palestinian state is not a terror state. Therefore, the Roadmap commitments which the Palestinians took upon themselves – to fight terrorism and to completely change their internal reality – must be fulfilled.
The ceaseless mortar and rocket bombardment of Israel’s civilians, launched by terrorists within Gaza, must be addressed simultaneously. While promoting peace with the moderates, Israel must still protect its citizens from the extremists.