Middle East

Israeli ex-spy chief says Palestinian state crucial to peace

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem,  Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. (Abir Sultan, Pool via AP)

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016. (Abir Sultan, Pool via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • File - In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 file photo,  Director of Israel's Mossad spy agency at the time Tamir Pardo arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Former Mossad chief Pardo said Tuesday that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is crucial to region-wide peace in the Middle East, joining the ranks of retired security men to urge the government to seek a two-state solution. (AP Photo/Ronen Zvulun, Pool, File)

    File - In this Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015 file photo, Director of Israel's Mossad spy agency at the time Tamir Pardo arrives to attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Former Mossad chief Pardo said Tuesday that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is crucial to region-wide peace in the Middle East, joining the ranks of retired security men to urge the government to seek a two-state solution. (AP Photo/Ronen Zvulun, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

The former head of Israel's Mossad spy agency says the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is crucial to Mideast peace, joining the ranks of retired security men to urge the government to seek a two-state solution.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday in northern Israel, Tamir Pardo says he does not believe Israel can reach any agreements with the Arab world without solving the Palestinian issue.

He notes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has endorsed the idea of Palestinian independence and called on the Israeli leader to "follow that path."

Dozens of former Israeli commanders have urged Netanyahu to push harder to resolve the Palestinian issue. Many have accused him of mishandling the matter, though Pardo's vague comments stopped short of doing so.