Israel will not be a binational state, says Netanyahu


Benjamin Netanyahu has said today that Israel will not become a binational state.

Speaking at Sunday morning’s cabinet meeting, the Israeli Prime Minister responded to US Secretary of State John Kerry who said in a speech on Saturday that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is trending toward a one-state reality.

At the annual Saban Forum speech examining relations between the US and Israel, Mr Kerry warned of a collapse of the Palestinian Authority and said that continued settlement activity suggested the Israeli government were looking to “unilateral[ly] annex” the West Bank.

"We have to be honest about what a one-state solution would actually look like," he said.

In response Mr Netanyahu said: "Israel will not be a binational state, but in order for there to be peace, the other side needs to decide if they want peace. Unfortunately, this is not what we are seeing.”

“The Palestinian Authority's incitement continues,” he added, stating that “anyone who wants peace must condemn these actions.”

Mr Netanyahu criticised the PA's chief negotiator Saeb Erekat for making a condolence call to the family of Mazen Aribah, a PA intelligence officer who was shot by the IDF after he shot and wounded two Israelis north of Jerusalem on Thursday.

By “going to console the family of terrorists who tried to murder Jews," Mr Netanyahu said, “not only did he not condemn the terrorist, [but he was] effectively giving support to acts of terror."

Mr Kerry’s remarks come a week after visiting Jerusalem and Ramallah, having failed to secure willingness on the part of Mr Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to take confidence-building measures. He admitted to being frustrated by this and made clear in his speech to the Saban Forum that the US remains committed to the two-state solution.

Mr Kerry was not the only foreign diplomat Netanyahu responded to at the cabinet meeting. He also called comments by Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom ‘outrageous’ after she accused Israel of using disproportionate force in response to the current wave of terrorism and of executing Palestinian assailants without trial.

“Apparently she expects Israelis to present their necks to those who want to stab them. That will not happen; we will continue to protect the lives of Israeli citizens,” Mr Netanyahu said.

Earlier this month, Ms Wallstrom linked the conflict in Israel to the attacks in Paris which left over 130 dead and nearly 300 injured.

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