World Bulletin / News Desk
Israel's defence minister said on Tuesday he did not believe a stable peace agreement could be reached with the Palestinians in his lifetime - one of the bleakest assessments from a top-level cabinet member since talks collapsed last year.
Moshe Yaalon, one of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's closest allies, accused the Palestinians of having "slammed the door" on efforts to keep discussions going, and said they had rejected peace-for-land deals for at least 15 years.
"As for the possibility of reaching an agreement ... there is someone who says he doesn't see one during his term," Yaalon said, referring to remarks U.S. President Barack Obama made in an Israeli television interview last week.
"I don't see a stable agreement during my lifetime, and I intend to live a bit longer," Yaalon told the Herzliya Conference, held annually near Tel Aviv.
His comments, in a speech to a strategic conference, were dismissed by a Palestine Liberation Organization official who told Reuters that Netanyahu's administration bore the blame for the impasse.
Peace negotiations broke off in April 2014, with disputes raging over Israeli settlement building in occupied land Palestinians seek for a state and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's unity deal with Hamas Islamists who rule Gaza and do not recognise Israel's right to exist.
Netanyahu was due to address the forum later in the day.
Palestine Liberation Organization official Wasel Abu Youssef told past and present Israeli governments had "closed the political horizon" by demanding to retain major settlement blocs and rejecting a right of return for Palestinian refugees.Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2015, 14:00