Exclusive: Netanyahu says don’t get ‘hung up’ on peace with Palestinians first

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said people can get “hung up” on peace negotiations with the Palestinians, saying he has opted for a different approach in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Tuesday.

“When effectively the Arab-Israeli conflict (comes) to an end, I think we’ll circle back to the Palestinians and get a workable peace with the Palestinians,” he said.

Asked by Tapper about the Biden administration’s concerns that settlements in the occupied West Bank could exacerbate tensions, Netanyahu pointed to the success of the Trump-era Abraham Accords that normalized relations between Israel and several Arab countries.

“I went around them (Palestinians), I went directly to the Arab states and forged with a new concept of peace… I forged four historic peace agreements, the Abraham Accords, which is twice the number of peace agreements that all my predecessors in 70 years got combined.”

His comments come at a tense moment for Israel. Palestinians and Israelis have suffered terrible bloodshed in the past week, and fears are growing that the situation will spiral out of control. Last Thursday was the deadliest day for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in nearly two years, followed by a shooting near a Jerusalem synagogue Friday night – which Israel has deemed one of its worst terror attacks in recent years.

The Biden administration has advocated for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but there has been very little movement and seemingly few active efforts toward that goal by Netanyahu or Palestinian leaders.

SOURCE: By Tara John and Rob Picheta, CNN