Israeli PM Rejects Total Pullback to 1967 Borders

Politics Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday Israel would object to any withdrawal to "indefensible" borders, adding he expected Washington to allow it to keep major settlement blocs in any peace deal.

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In a statement after President Barack Obama's speech outlining Middle East strategy, Netanyahu said before heading to Washington that "the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of Israel's existence."

"That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004," the statement added, alluding to a previous letter from Washington suggesting Israel could keep larger settlement blocs as part a peace deal with the Palestinians.

(Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan and Ori Lewis; Editing by Maria Golovnina)

(allyn.fisher.thomsonreuters.com; +972-2-6322202; Reuters Messaging:allyn.fisher.thomsonreuters.com@thomsonreuters.net))

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