Middle East Monitor / March 23, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that if he is re-elected he will not allow the creation of a fully sovereign Palestinian state, Panet news website has reported. Netanyahu stressed his belief that peace will be achieved in the region through normalisation deals with Arab states.
According to Quds Net News, Netanyahu made his comments to the Arabic news network in Israel in an effort to drum up electoral support for his Likud Party among the Arab Israelis. Israel’s fourth General Election in two years is being held today.
“I do not think that we have relations with the Palestinians, but we have relations with the Palestinian Authority regarding the [covid-19] vaccination,” explained the incumbent prime minister. “We have to cooperate with this responsibly because we live in the same area.”
The Arab states want to make peace with Israel based on the Arab Peace Initiative which stipulates the creation of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, a solution for the Palestinian refugees, and normalisation of ties with Israel. Netanyahu said that he accepts the creation of a Palestinian state if control of security remains in Israel’s hands. “Otherwise, we will get Hamas [ruling the state].”
He also said that Al-Qaeda and Iran would be in a Palestinian state if Israel does not control security. “This happened in other places where Israel did not have strong security.”
His intention, added Netanyahu, is not to “marginalise” the Palestinian issues. “The Palestinians marginalise themselves due to many internal political problems that I do not want to speak about, but they are related to a power struggle.”
In closing, Netanyahu said that he is the leader of the normalisation of relationships between the Arab states and Israel, as well as the claimed coexistence between Arabs and Jews in Israel. “This will make a historic change in the relations between the Jews and Arabs in general,” he claimed. “This is very clear.”