JERUSALEM – Israel's prime minister says he expects recently announced peace talks with the Palestinians to be tough, and that any agreement reached would have to be ratified in a national Israeli referendum.
Benjamin Netanyahu spoke Sunday at his weekly Cabinet meeting, his first on-camera remarks since U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced the resumption of peace talks over the weekend — ending a five year deadlock.
Netanyahu said his main guiding principles will be to maintain a Jewish majority in Israel and to avoid a future Palestinian state becoming an Iranian-backed "terror state."
Final status negotiations aim to reach a deal on the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and security arrangements. The Palestinians say talks will be based on Israel's pre-1967 borders.