Middle East Monitor / December 17, 2022
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Palestinians can get autonomy without sovereignty or security.
Speaking to the US radio network National Public Radio on Thursday, Netanyahu proposed restricted autonomy for Palestinians, calling it the only applicable peace with Palestinians.
“The only peace that will hold is one that we can defend,” Netanyahu told the US radio station. “And the one that we can defend is one in which the Palestinians have all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten our lives.”
He explained: “This means that security, in whatever political arrangements we’ll have, realistically will have to remain in Israel’s hands.”
The Likud chair defended handing far-right MK Itamar Ben-Gvir control of the police force, as well as some elements of the military.
“I think one of the things that we have seen is the erosion of internal security in Israel. It is a big, big issue. I have to say his party ran on that,” Netanyahu said of Ben-Gvir.
Netanyahu explained: “He says, ‘I want to be tested. I think I can bring security to Arabs [Palestinians], the Arab citizens and Jews, citizens alike’ … that was his campaign promise. We have a coalition. I said: ‘You will be given the chance. You’ll be given the tools. You better do the job.’ And I think that time will see.”
When asked about Ben-Gvir’s statements calling for the expulsion of Palestinian citizens of Israel, Netanyahu responded: “He does not say that right now, by the way.”