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Netanyahu reiterates: No Palestinian state, no to Hamas hostages deal offers

Prime minister's statement followed criticism by members of his coalition

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leads a government conference at Defense Headquarters in Tel Aviv, Dec. 31, 2023. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again rejected the idea of creating a Palestinian state when the current war against the Hamas terror organization in Gaza ends.

He stated his position during a Sunday evening public address and also reiterated his opposition to different versions of a new hostage deal with Hamas that have been floated in the media and by Israeli politicians in recent days.

Netanyahu’s comments followed controversy and criticism from his coalition partners, after U.S. President Joe Biden suggested on Friday that Netanyahu might support a demilitarized Palestinian state in the aftermath of the war.

In his comments on Sunday, Netanyahu again thanked Biden for his support but stressed that he would always insist on Israel’s vital interest, which in this case, was “total victory” over Hamas and to ensure that “Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.”

“Gaza must be demilitarized, under Israel’s full security control,” Netanyahu emphasized. “I will not compromise on full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River.”

This is the same position he has upheld despite pressure in the past, which would have resulted in “the establishment of a Palestinian state that would have constituted an existential danger to Israel,” the prime minister added.

Regarding recent reports of renewed negotiations between Israel and Hamas about the release of hostages, Netanyahu repeated his view that the return of all Israeli hostages is one of the main goals of the war.

However, he added that “military pressure is a necessary condition to achieving it,” while rejecting the conditions offered by “the Hamas monsters,” which he called “capitulation terms.”

“Hamas is demanding, in exchange for the release of our hostages, the end of the war, the withdrawal of our forces from Gaza, the release of the murders and rapists of the Nukhba and leaving Hamas in place.”

“Were we to agree to this – our soldiers would have fallen in vain. Were we to agree to this – we would not be able to ensure the security of our citizens. We would be unable to safely restore the evacuees to their homes and the next October 7 would be only a question of time. I am not prepared to accept such a mortal blow to the security of Israel; therefore, we will not agree to this,” Netanyahu said.

Finally, the prime minister declared: “We are not giving immunity to any terrorist: Not in Gaza, not in Lebanon, not in Syria and not anywhere.”

This statement can be seen as a jab at Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, as two Hezbollah members in Lebanon and five members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in Syria have been assassinated in the past 48 hours.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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