Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said on Sunday that he opposes the establishment of a Palestinian state and proposed ‘a form of rule’ in parts of the territories occupied in 1967, an Israeli Hebrew website reported.
Speaking to Walla News, Netanyahu also promised not to dismantle any Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but to continue building. On the question of Iran, the Israeli Prime Minister pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring atomic energy as long as he is in power.
Regarding how to deal with Palestinians, Netanyahu said: “I do not want to dominate the Palestinians, I do not want them to be Israeli citizens and I do not want them to be residents. Therefore, there will have to be another form of demilitarised rule.”
Netanyahu firmly rejected any kind of official Palestinian existence. “Practically, we have to figure out what to do now as Abu-Mazen is meeting with Hamas who called for us to be eliminated just last month. Unlike other leftist parties who close their eyes when they sign agreements, I do not advise conceding lands,” he said. “This is the way we conceded Gaza to Abu-Mazen, and then in one day Hamas gained control of it and acquired tens of thousands of Iranian rockets.”
Commenting on the settlements in the West Bank, which he considered an integral part of Israeli land, Netanyahu said: “I have not uprooted a single settlement and I do not plan to uproot any. The whole system of bulldozing has been wrung out and we have seen where it has led us. We uprooted settlements and got rockets in return. I do not intend to do that.”
Netanyahu said that any government presided over by him would not evacuate any settlements, even if an agreement on the issue was reached with the Palestinians. “What does an agreement mean?” he questioned. “Does that change anything? Can anyone guarantee that from wherever we uproot Jews, no Hamas and Iran agents will supersede them?”
Netanyahu said his government intended to approve some construction outside the main settlement blocs, but noted that the majority of West Bank building had taken place in the major settlement areas.
“Everybody knows that the Etzion bloc, Ariel, and Maaleh Adumim will all stay part of the State of Israel” in a future agreement with the Palestinians, and the remainder “will be up for negotiations but to the greatest extent possible” will remain Israeli, he said.
Replying to a question about whether Iran could become a nuclear power, Netanyahu said: “I am doing my best in order to prevent this. In order for this not to happen, it is necessary to gather the strength to lead the State of Israel and focus on the essentials.
“This will never happen as long as I head the government. I am treating this issue in the same way as Syrian chemical weapons and rockets in the hands of Hezbollah, or any other internal issue such as lowering prices… This needs a strong party to be in control.”
When asked about whether Tzipi Livni would be assigned as foreign minister in the government he forms after the elections, he said: “I have said for a while that I am the one who will lead the negotiations with the Palestinians, and I am not sure whether it would be possible to include Livni in a coalition.”