Today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with visiting Italian President Sergio Mattarella, who had met with P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas the day before. During the meeting, The Jerusalem Post's Tovah Lazaroff reports that Netanyahu asked if the Palestinians would recognize Israel if the settlement issue was resolved:
“I [have] turned not only to Hamas, but to President Abbas, and I said, 'Would you recognize a Jewish state, assuming we solve the settlement problem?'” Netanyahu said.
“And they won't, because the real settlement issues are the settlements of Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Haifa, Akko,” Netanyahu said.
He understood he added, that Mattarella had met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas just the day before.
He assured Mattarella, that like his predecessors, he would support the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized that Israel was a Jewish state.
The conflict, he said, “was and is about the Jewish state, and unless and until our Palestinian neighbors face this, confront these demons, give up the ghost of trying to destroy the Jewish state by this or that means, peace will be harder to achieve.”