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Netanyahu opposes creation of Palestinian state after war, calls it a 'security threat'

'All territory we evacuate' gives us 'terror against us,' says Netanyahu: 'I tell this truth to our American friends'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a message to the nation, January 18, 2024 (Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu repeated his opposition to the potential establishment of a Palestinian state, arguing that such an entity would threaten the Jewish state’s security and existence.

“Whoever is talking about the ‘day after Netanyahu,' is essentially talking about the establishment of a Palestinian state with the Palestinian Authority,” the prime minister said during a Thursday press briefing.

The prime minister said that every territory the IDF has vacated from southern Lebanon to Gaza, as well as parts of the West Bank, turned into a base for anti-Israel terror operations.

“All territory we evacuate, we get terror, terrible terror against us,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000 and the Gaza Strip in 2005. He said that Iran's terror proxies, Hezbollah and Hamas, have only created a greater threat to Israel's security.

Looking ahead, Netanyahu, therefore, emphasized that “in any future arrangement, or in the absence of an arrangement,” the Jewish state would have no choice but to continue maintaining overall “security control” of Judea and Samaria, internationally known as the West Bank.

The area is adjacent to Israel’s main population centers Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as Israel’s strategically important Ben-Gurion International Airport. “That is a vital condition,” the prime minister added.

Netanyahu further admitted that his position “contradicts the idea of sovereignty [for the Palestinians]. What can you do? I tell this truth to our American friends.”

The prime minister previously stated that the Palestinian Authority (PA) should have all the powers to govern itself but none of the powers to threaten the Jewish state. However, Netanyahu previously dodged the question of whether he supports the PA being transformed into a state-like entity.

The U.S. Biden administration has so far firmly backed Israel’s right to defend itself against the Hamas aggression. However, as the war in Gaza drags on, Washington has increasingly pressured the Israeli government to present a viable post-Hamas war future vision for both the Gaza Strip and the contested West Bank. The Biden administration has repeated its commitment to implementing a two-state solution.

NBC recently reported that Netanyahu had turned down a Washington plan to link the coveted normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia with the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel. The Biden administration has indicated it would eventually prefer a reformed PA to assume responsibility for the Gaza Strip in a post-Hamas era.

However, in December, Netanyahu vowed that neither Hamas nor its political rival Fatah would rule Gaza after the ongoing war.

“Gaza will be neither Hamastan nor Fatahstan, Netanyahu pledged.

“After the great sacrifice of our civilians and our soldiers, I will not allow the entry into Gaza of those who educate for terrorism, support terrorism and finance terrorism, “he added with a reference to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority’s incitement against the Jewish people and pay for slay policy that offers financial rewards for anyone who murders Israelis and Jews.

Israel is facing a long-term dilemma concerning Gaza’s future. On one hand, polls suggest that most Israelis have no desire to return to the densely populated Gaza Strip after the war and would like the territory to remain politically separated from Israel.

On the other hand, there is reportedly no credible leadership that could currently step in and assume responsibility for Gaza and its more than two million residents.

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

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