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Israeli PM calls on Palestinian president to "give peace a chance"


09:13, June 06, 2013

JERUSALEM, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table and "give peace a chance. "

Netanyahu made the remarks while addressing the Knesset ( parliament), urging the Palestinians not to set any precondition for resuming the peace talks between the two sides.

The Palestinian leadership has said they will not return to the negotiating table unless Israel quits its settlement activities in the West Bank and east Jerusalem and respects the pre-1967 borderlines.

While recognizing the demands, Netanyahu urged the Palestinians not to set them as preconditions. "Or else we'll waste another four years."

"I'm not afraid of starting the negotiations right here and now, and I hope Abbas will respond to this invitation," he added.

In 2010, the Israeli-Palestinian direct talks came to a halt when Israel restarted constructing settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem after a temporary freeze.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been exerting efforts to resume the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians since U.S. President Barack Obama visited the region in March.

While working to curb Israel's construction in the West Bank, the U.S. top diplomat tried to offer economic incentives for the Palestinians to resume the peace process and dissuade them from approaching the UN with unilateral moves against Israel.

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