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Leaked document: Netanyahu backed land swaps

by Marcy Oster, JTA

November 30, 2010 | 10:05 am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the United States in early 2009 that he supported land swaps in a peace agreement with the Palestinians, a leaked document shows.

Netanyahu also said in the meeting with a delegation of U.S. officials in Israel two weeks after Israel’s last national election that Israel does not want to control Gaza and the West Bank, according to a WikiLeaks cable released Monday.

The document, sent Feb. 26, 2009 from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, reported that Netanyahu presented his “economic peace” doctrine, which he said would prop up the Palestinian Authority in its fight against radical Islam.

In response to the document, the Prime Minister’s Office issued an official response saying that Netanyahu intended to show that he was willing to make territorial compromises in the framework of a peace treaty. 

“This is the public policy of Netanyahu, this is policy today and it was his policy during his February 2009 meeting,” the statement said. “Any other interpretation isn’t correct and doesn’t represent the prime minister’s stance.”

The WikiLeaks website, which publishes classified documents from anonymous sources and leaks, released about 250,000 secret diplomatic cables Sunday.

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