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Former Israeli army officials: 1967 borders defensible

July 26, 2011 1:11 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2011 1:11 P.M.)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- A group of former Israeli army officials said Monday that the 1967 borders are defensible and that a viable Palestinian state is in Israel's interests.

The former Israeli officials discussed a variety of security and defense issues in a meeting at the United States National Security Council in Washington on Monday, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

Among the participants were retired Major General Natan Sharoni, former ambassador Alon Pinkas who served as Consul General of Israel and Ilan Baruch, who served in the Israeli foreign ministry for over thirty years and was openly critical of government policies upon leaving office.

The group stated that peace with the Palestinians is an urgent requirement and that the 1967 borders can be protected, despite the position of PM Netanyahu who has publicly rejected 1967 borders as "indefensible."

“We think it's misleading. The 1967 borders are defensible, we just need to define – defensible against what? It's true they are indefensible against rockets from Iran, but so is all the territory of Israel,” Haaretz quoted Sharoni as saying.

“And the Palestinians need Jordan Valley to develop as a viable state, especially if they want to absorb refugees. IDF can protect any borders, it's just the question of developing the right strategy to do it,” Sharoni added.

Discussing regional threats to Israel, Sharoni noted that Syria would not attack the country alone, Iraq is incapable of mobilization at present and Jordan has signed a peace agreement.

“What scares us is that our current leadership has no courage and no pragmatism necessary to deal with the challenges,” Sharoni added.

A White House National Security spokesman said that the meeting was a routine part of the departments work.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu strongly rejected US President Obama's call in May for both sides to return to negotiations based on the 1967 borders.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 1967.

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