JERUSALEM – A senior member of Israel's new government says anyone who thinks peace can be reached with the Palestinians is "delusional."
Avigdor Lieberman delivered his assessment Monday shortly before the country's new government was to be sworn into office. Lieberman, a former foreign minister, leads Yisrael Beitenu, a hardline political party that has formed a joint bloc with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party.
Lieberman is barred from sitting in the Cabinet while he fights breach of trust and fraud charges. But he retains great influence over the new government.
Speaking to his party Monday, Lieberman said the conflict with the Palestinians "cannot be solved. This conflict needs to be managed."
He also said he would reject any attempt to freeze settlement construction — a key demand of the Palestinians.