In the face of a wave of anti-Israel demonstrations across the country, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to hold a peace summit in Israel’s capital next week.
In a speech at the opening of the Jerusalem summit on Tuesday, Netanyahu said that the two sides are in a state of “emergency” and that there will be a two-day meeting between the two leaders.
“We have to find a solution to the Palestinian question in a way that will not lead to the destruction of the State of Israel and that will lead to a lasting peace,” he said.
Netanyahu said the peace process is the first step in achieving peace in the Middle East, but the main issue is the Palestinian leadership’s lack of commitment to the two-state solution.
He also said that “all sides” in the peace talks have the right to decide their own future course of action.
Netanyahus leaders have been working toward a peace deal since November.
But the last round of negotiations between Netanyahu and Abbas ended without a deal.
Israel, which has a large Arab minority, has been on a diplomatic offensive to gain the support of the Palestinian public for the two states.
It also has been trying to convince the international community that the Palestinians have a legitimate claim to a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, where Israel has a permanent military presence.
Since then, Palestinians have rallied around a “Yes” campaign in a series of marches across the capital.
In the past week, they have staged more than 50 protests in the capital, including one on Tuesday in which they chanted “Death to Israel.”
The demonstrations have been peaceful, but security forces have used tear gas and water cannons to disperse them.
Netahans speech came as protests were underway in cities across the West over the weekend, in some cases turning violent.
Israel has seen a sharp increase in anti-Semitic incidents since the election of a nationalist politician in a wave that began with the assassination of an Israeli prime minister in November.
The demonstrations in Jerusalem were among the most violent.