Israeli peace negotiator: Stalemate bad for Israel

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Associated Press

Posted on May 21, 2013 at 4:04 AM

Updated Tuesday, May 21 at 4:06 AM

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's chief peace negotiator with the Palestinians says the current stalemate is harmful for Israel.

Tzipi Livni told a parliamentary committee Tuesday that resuming negotiations was "first and foremost an Israeli interest." She spoke days before U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to arrive in Israel for his latest push to restart long-dormant talks.

Direct negotiations have been largely frozen since the two sides were reportedly close to a deal in late 2008. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists talks resume without preconditions. The Palestinians demand a complete freeze in Jewish West Bank settlement construction beforehand.

Livni says the stalemate delivers a blow both to Israel's legitimacy and its freedom to act military if needed. She warns that the Palestinian narrative of the conflict is gaining traction internationally.

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