SC Weiss is incorrect as regards the Palestinians’ position on Israel’s right to exist (Israel-Palestine solution, July 16).

Since the Oslo Accords of 1993-95, the Palestinian Authority agreed to recognise the state of Israel. In turn, the Israeli government recognised the Palestinian Authority, which had evolved from the Palestine Liberation Organisation as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people and a negotiating partner in seeking a two-state solution.

This left Hamas as the most significant group that did not recognise the state of Israel. However, in recent times, even Hamas has indicated that it too would consider recognising Israel as a state if the basis for negotiations is on the 1967 borders. It should be remembered that Israel — even with the 1967 borders — is substantially larger than it was when it originally declared statehood in 1948.

The major problem is that the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu continues to allow Jewish settlements to be built on Palestinian land, with the sole objective of effectively rendering a future independent Palestinian state impossible. It is a blatant and cynical violation not only of the Oslo Accords and every other agreement since, but of international law as well.

Negotiations cannot begin again until the Israeli government ceases its current policies and, at the very least, puts in place a permanent moratorium on settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Julian DennyBenmore

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