JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli official says the government will not agree to the borders that the Palestinians are demanding for an independent state.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said Israel would not let such a state be established within the regional boundaries that existed prior to the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians want east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — territories captured by Israel in that war. Danon's remarks were broadcast on Israel Radio Sunday.
His remarks came ahead of another visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to the region this week.
The government has distanced itself from similar comments made by Danon last week.
Israel's chief negotiator Tzipi Livni told the station Sunday she was hopeful talks will resume with the Palestinians despite "elements" within the Israeli government.
Obama arrives today in Israel for his first visit to the country — and only his second to the Middle East, outside of a quick jaunt to Iraq — since taking office.
He will also be making his first trips as president to the Palestinian Authority and Jordan this week. But on an itinerary laden more with symbolism than substance, an Israel that is increasingly wary of developments in Syria and Iran will be the main focus of his attention.