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Netanyahu settlement stand draws fire from all

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OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum make it clear he is against the establishment of a Palestinian state, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has said.

A Palestinian woman from the Idriss family is comforted by a relative as they watch Israeli diggers demolish their house, deemed illegal by Jerusalem municipal authorities, on Monday in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina (AFP photo by Ahmad Gharabli)

A Palestinian woman from the Idriss family is comforted by a relative as they watch Israeli diggers demolish their house, deemed illegal by Jerusalem municipal authorities, on Monday in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Beit Hanina (AFP photo by Ahmad Gharabli)


“Anyone who says they want the settlers to remain is actually saying they don’t want the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Erekat said in remarks published Monday in Palestinian daily Al Ayyam.

Erekat was reacting to comments by Netanyahu at last week’s WEF gathering in Davos, where the premier insisted Israel would not evacuate Jewish settlements built on occupied land the Palestinians want for their future state.

Netanyahu has publicly supported the two-state solution during US-sponsored talks which envisage the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a final peace agreement.

But at Davos, the premier told Israeli journalists at a briefing, “I have said before and I say again; I do not intend to dismantle any settlement, I don’t intend to uproot any Israeli.”

His comments were broadcast on public radio.

Israel’s settlements, which are illegal under international law, are a key sticking point that is preventing peace talks from making any visible progress.

Some Israeli media said that Netanyahu was speaking in response to a question specifically about the Jordan Valley, the part of the occupied West Bank bordering Jordan.

Israel insists on maintaining a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley as a buffer against attacks on Israel, while the Palestinians want an international security force deployed there for their own security.

But angry Israeli hardliners on Monday linked Netanyahu’s Davos comments to a report by an international news agency that the premier is floating the idea of existing settlements being leased from the Palestinians in a future Palestinian state.

“We do not leave settlers behind enemy lines,” Deputy Defence Minister Danny Danon, a hawkish member of Netanyahu’s own Likud Party, told army radio.

“It’s an idea of leaving Jews, abandoning Jews to the control of the Palestinians,” Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, also of Likud, told the station.

“It’s a red line, contrary to the beliefs of the national camp, the beliefs of the Likud,” he said.

Settler leader Dani Danon told AFP that the concept of settlements no longer being under Israeli sovereignty was a “political, security and Zionist aberration”.

Veteran political analyst Shimon Shiffer said that the news agency report, which Netanyahu’s office neither confirms nor denies, was a deliberate attempt to draw a hostile response from the Palestinians, painting them as rejecting peace.

“Netanyahu… is trying to push the settlers into a corner and challenge the Palestinian side, knowing that the latter will reply with a resounding negative,” he wrote in the top-selling Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

Maariv’s Shalom Yerushalmi suggested that the premier was playing for time.

“The settlements will certainly be removed, but the prime minister will not be the one to remove them,” he wrote.

“This will be a gradual process in any case, and by the time we reach the removal of the settlements Netanyahu will no longer be there.”

SOURCE: JORDAN TIMES

Posted by on January 28, 2014. Filed under Arab World,Asia,Israel,Palestine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

One Response to Netanyahu settlement stand draws fire from all

  1. Manasseh

    January 28, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    We should stop talking about peace. Peace between two parties is the no war situation. There never was a war. I am a Palestinian and I do not hate anybody and surely I do not feel at war with anybody.
    This matter of seeking peace is a decade long tactic to have Zionists grab from the Palestinians .
    What there really exists is a western invasion that turned into colonization and now it is an ethnic cleansing operation where the instrument is the armed squatters Zionism is financing.
    We want to be free. We want our rights like all human beings as individual and a people. We want justice.

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