Israeli PM Lapid backs two-state solution

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Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has called for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as long as the state would be a peaceful one, in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly.

"Peace is not a compromise. It is the most courageous decision we can make," he said.

He said Israel seeks peace with the entire Arab world.

He also warned of the dangers if Iran gains nuclear weapons, referring to the government as a murderous dictatorship.

The only solution, he said, was a credible military threat and the negotiation of a "longer and stronger deal" with Iran.

Most Israeli are in favour of a two-state solution, the head of government said. "I am one of them."

However, he said, a future Palestinian state should "not become another terror base".

Israel wants to live in peace and security, he said.

Lapid also addressed the people of Gaza, offering to build the economy together.

"We only have one condition: stop firing rockets and missiles at our children. Put down your weapons."

He said they could then "build your future together, both in Gaza and in the West Bank".