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Netanyahu Says Israel Will Not Cede Land To Palestinians

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AP Photo

"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any evacuated territory would fall into the hands of Islamic extremism and terror organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will be no concessions and no withdrawals. It is simply irrelevant," read a statement released by his Likud party.

Party spokesman Elie Bennett said Netanyahu's landmark 2009 speech, in which he endorsed the idea of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, was "not relevant" in the "current realities."

The international community has long pushed for the creation of a Palestinian state on lands captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. In 1993, Israel and the Palestinians signed an interim agreement that was to lead to the end of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Numerous rounds of peace negotiations have been held since then, with the most recent talks breaking down last year.

Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Netanyahu was using regional strife as an excuse.

"Today Netanyahu revealed his true face," Erekat said. "Since 1993, he worked hard for the destruction of the option of peace and the option of a two-state solution."

There was no immediate U.S. reaction, and Netanyahu's spokesman declined comment.

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