Barak: Israel May Need to Expand Government

Israel’s defense minister has said it may be necessary to expand the hawkish government of Benjamin Netanyahu to make a breakthrough in the Middle East peace talks.

Addressing Knesset (parliament) members on Monday, Ehud Barak said the parliament has to consider every way to achieve a breakthrough in the upcoming peace talks with the Palestinians, Ynet reported.

"If it turns out that the government must be expanded; (we) will have to seriously consider an expansion," he added.

Barak "hopes and believes proximity talks would lead to direct negotiations and results."

He had previously called for the resumption of peace talks, saying the world would not tolerate the continuation of the current situation for the Palestinian nation.

He had also raised the prospect of reshaping the government of Netanyahu so that it could resume peace talks with the Palestinians.

"This will require an effort from all parties… we are committed to moving forward. I believe that the tests will be in the coming months, and we will have to apply our influence in the government to get the ties with the United States on the right track," he stated.

The US-mediated negotiations have been halted due to Netanyahu’s refusal to freeze settlement construction in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

However, the negotiations are likely to resume next week after an Arab League committee on Saturday approved the US offer to hold "proximity" talks between the two sides.

(Press TV)

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