'It will take mere months to strike a deal with Palestinians if Israel returns to its 2008 two-state proposal, and the only ones opposing the plan are Benjamin Netanyahu and his circle, former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said.
“There is no question in my mind that Netanyahu’s time is over. He’s gone,” Olmert told TV channel i24NEWS on Friday, explaining that the current PM lacks “moral courage” to introduce a settlement, similar to the one the government laid out ten years ago.
Olmert, who governed Israel from 2006 to 2009, offered nearly complete withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the West Bank and the Arab-populated East Jerusalem, with placing its Old City under international trusteeship. He also proposed the Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to allow Israel to keep a small portion of the Palestinian land, containing major Jewish settlements. In return, Tel Aviv was to cede roughly the same amount of land to the Palestinian Authority.
Palestinian leadership rejected the plan back then, but Olmert believes that if such a deal would reappear of the table today, things would be completely different. He is “certain” that the Palestinians will sign off to the same model now.
“I know Palestinians. Many of them think that their failure to sign an agreement with me towards the end of 2008 was a historic mistake,” the former Kadima party leader said. He added that the only ones opposing such a deal would be “extremists” like Netanyahu and his allies who reject the two-state solution.'
Read more: ‘Netanyahu’s time is over’ – former Israeli PM Olmert calls for revival of his 2008 peace plan
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