Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to push for peace with the Arab world.
In a speech to the Israeli parliament, Netanyahu said his government would strive to achieve a just and lasting settlement with Israel’s neighbours. Nonetheless, the Likud party leader made no mention of a separate Palestinian homeland. Something out-going premier Ehud Olmert urged him to endorse, calling for the creation of an clearly defined Arab state. Elsewhere, there were reports of skirmishes between Arabs and Israeli security forces as people gathered across Gaza, the West Bank and Israel for ‘Land Day’. The event marks deadly protests in 1976 between Israeli-Arabs and authorities over land seizures. Despite the small clashes no injuries were reported. In Gaza, groups of children planted trees to commemorate the day.