There is no guarantee that talks between Israel and the Palestinians will succeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a Jewish New Year greeting released Tuesday, but he promised to strive for a peace agreement by next September.
"This year, after many efforts, direct talks with the Palestinians have begun," Netanyahu said in the video, released ahead of Rosh Hashanah, which begins at sundown on Wednesday. "This is an important step in our attempt to advance a peace agreement between us and them."
"I say this is an attempt because it is not certain that it will succeed," he said. "Certainly there are many obstacles, many skeptics and many reasons to doubt, but we must try to reach peace."
He said Israel is trying "in good faith, but not naivety" to reach an agreement. And any such agreement would be based on security and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, he said.
"If we are asked to recognize a Palestinian state, it is both natural and appropriate that the Palestinians recognize the state of the Israeli people as a Jewish state," Netanyahu said.