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Netanyahu: Closer Ties Between Israel and Arab States Could Help in Peace Process

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Closer ties between Israel and the Arab world could help in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

TEL AVIV, September 30 (RIA Novosti) – Closer ties between Israel and the Arab world could help in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Many have long assumed that an Israeli-Palestinian peace can help facilitate a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab World. But these days I think it may work the other way around: Namely that a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace," Netanyahu said addressing the UN General Assembly Monday.

"I believe peace can be realized with the active involvement of Arab countries, those that are willing to provide political, material and other indispensable support," Netanyahu added.

The Israeli Prime Minister noted that "After decades of seeing Israel as their enemy, leading states in the Arab world increasingly recognize that together we and they face many of the same dangers: principally this means a nuclear-armed Iran and militant Islamist movements gaining ground in the Sunni world."

According to Netanyahu, the common challenge of Israel and the Arab world "is to transform these common interests to create a productive partnership. One that would build a more secure, peaceful and prosperous Middle East."

On August 26, the Palestinian Authority and Israel, with the mediation of the Egyptian government, agreed to an open-ended truce.

The truce followed an escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which happened in June after Israel laid the blame for the death of three Israeli schoolboys on Hamas, a radical Palestinian Islamic organization and the de facto authority in Gaza. In response, Israel launched its operation "Protective Edge."

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