Abbas: Netanyahu ‘Disarmed’ Palestinian State Offer A ‘Deadly Blow’ to Peace Process


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday Israel would back a peace agreement with Palestine but only if Palestinians agree that they have no control over their airspace, would give up the right to have an army, and would agree to a prohibition to bring in arms.

“In my vision of peace, two people live in good neighbourly relations, each with their own flag … Neither threaten the other’s security,” Netanyahu said in a speech at Bar-Ilan University, outside Tel Aviv, Al Jazeera reported. “In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel.”

Nabil Abu Rudeina, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, immediately rejected the offer and blasted Netanyahu’s demands. He said the speech was a “deadly blow” to the peace process.

Rudeina also told Agence France-Presse:

“[Netanyahu] spoke of a Palestinian state while emptying it of any substance by excluding a stop to settlements.”

“By demanding the recognition of Israel’s Jewish character, he wants the Palestinians to become part of the global Zionist movement.”

“He wants to impose a solution without taking into account the rights of the refugees and by speaking in terms under which Jerusalem will not be the capital of the future Palestinian state, which will not have any sovereignty.”

However, Netanyahu did not rule out a complete halt to settlements, which the Obama administration was harshly critical of last week as thwarting efforts for peace.

We’re still waiting on reaction from the Obama administration to Netanyahu’s speech. We will keep you updated as this story continues to unfold.

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