Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made three mistakes that caused the peace talks with the Palestinians to fail and his actions are used to evade the problems rather than stand firm as head of government and solve them, former Israeli Likud Minister Dan Meridor said yesterday.

In an interview with the Israeli TV Channel 10, Meridor said: “Netanyahu’s government clearly committed three mistakes that caused the failure of the peace talks.”

He said the first mistake was: “The government promised the US Secretary of State John Kerry that it would release the fourth group of the Palestinian prisoners and then, it retreated.”

He stressed that Netanyahu had to know that when governments cannot fulfil promises, it should not make promises.

While the second mistake, according to the former minister, was committed when Housing and Development Minister Uri Ariel announced the bids for new settlements in East Jerusalem when Kerry visited Israel.

Meridor stressed that was an intended measure to thwart Kerry’s efforts and causing the negotiations to fail. “It has no other meaning except that Netanyahu is unable to control his government,” he said.

Finally, the government was held hostage by small extremist parties which became the decision makers, not Netanyahu or his party Likud.

“Netanyahu has to know that the head of the Israeli government must be strong enough to risk in order to carry out his vision on governing the country,” Meridor said. “He must not avoid problems and evade adopting solutions with the Palestinians.”

He concluded: “Netanyahu has 70 per cent of the Knesset’s support, while more than 70 per cent of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state, however he is afraid and hesitant.”

(Retrieved from Middle East Monitor  April 14, 2014 )