Israel's Livni says land cession needed for peace
Israel's premiership contender Tzipi Livni said on Monday that her country must give up part of the land currently under its control in exchange for peace with the Palestinians, Xinhua reported.
"I do believe Israel is fighting for existence" and must concede part of its land "in order to remain a Jewish and democratic state," local daily Ha'aretz quoted the incumbent foreign minister as saying to visiting American Jewish leaders.
Meanwhile, she reiterated her tough stance on the issue of refugees, saying "no refugee can enter Israel as part of the peace process" and that "their national aspiration gets an answer in a different place."
Livni's remarks marked a clear difference from overtures made by her rival for the premiership, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who have repeatedly voiced opposition to massive land concessions in the peace process with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu held that Jewish settlements in the West Bank should be allowed to grow and that peace talks should focus on developing the Palestinian economy, but both of his propositions are strongly opposed by the Palestinians.
Following Israel's inconclusive general election on Feb. 10, Livni's centrist Kadima party remained as the largest faction in the new parliament, giving Livni an opportunity to become the second woman premier in the Jewish state's history.
Yet in light of the facts that Kadima led Netanyahu's Likud party merely by one more seat and that the right-wing bloc, led by the center-right Likud, secured a majority in the parliament, Netanyahu is seemingly nearer to the prime minister's office.