During his speech at the U.S. Congress on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called on the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) of Mahmoud Abbas to shun the Hamas movement, and to void the unity deal with it if the P.A. wants to advance in the peace process. Netanyahu also reiterated his stances rejecting the internationally guaranteed Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees, and also refused a full Israel withdrawal to the 1967 border.
The Israeli leader further stated that the P.A. must cancel its plan to head to the United Nations to achieve recognition of an independent Palestinian State.
He said that Abbas must void the unity deal with Hamas stressing the issue as an Israeli precondition to recognizing Palestine.
“I call on Abbas to void the unity deal”, Netanyahu said, “I call on him to negotiate and make peace with the Jewish State”.
The Israeli Prime Minister further stated that the Palestinian plan to “impose a settlement to the conflict through the United Nations, will not bring peace”, and added that world leaders must reject this plan “as peace is something you negotiate, and cannot be imposed”.
He further claimed that “Israel would be the first country to recognize the Palestinian State, should Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish State.
Furthermore, Netanyahu said that Israel will keep all of its settlement blocs in the occupied territories and that borders will be subject to negotiations, but Israel will never fully withdraw to the 1967 border.
“We will be generous regarding the borders of the Palestinian State”, he said, “but, we will also be very strict regarding our borders”.
“We need to have peace with the Palestinians, and we will make painful concessions to achieve peace based on the two-state solutions”, Netanyahu added, “For the sake of peace, we will give away part of our historic homeland, we live on the land of our forefathers, unlike the British when they were in India”.
The Israeli PM claimed that peace was not achieved because “the Palestinian side is unable to accept the presence of a Jewish State”.
He added the United States does not have a better friend than Israel, and that Israel does not have a better that the United States.
Netanyahu also claimed that “Israel is the only democracy in the region”, and that the country built itself and does not need any country to build it or send forces to protect it, “we are capable of protecting our country”, he said.
The Israeli leader said that “there is a battle in the Middle East between tyranny and the millions who seek freedom. “We have seen that in the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt”.
“We in Israel are proud of the democratic changes in the Middle East, there are 300 Million Arabs who live in freedom and liberty”, Netanyahu said, “less than %0.5 of them live in Israel; but the rise of political Islam could make us pay a high price”.
He also called on the United States to send a clear message to Iran telling its leaders that Washington will not allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons.
Responding to the statements of Netanyahu, Palestinian Chief negotiator, Dr. Saeb Erekat, said that Netanyahu is not a man of peace and that his speech did not present anything new, adding that Netanyahu “mixed history with geography in his public relations, dictation filled speech”.
Erekat added that Netanyahu demanded Abbas to choose between Israel and Hamas, and stressed that the Palestinian leadership will not abandon reconciliation will Hamas under any condition.
He said that Netanyahu deformed the speech of Barrack Obama by dictating his preconditions and his own vision of the changes in the region.
“There will be no peace without a full withdrawal to the June 5, 1967 border”, Erekat stated.
Meanwhile, the Hamas movement demanded the Palestinian leadership to respond to the statements of Netanyahu by voiding all signed peace agreements with Tel Aviv.
Sami Abu Zuhri, spokesperson of Hamas, said that the Palestinians will not abandon even an inch of their land, and that the Palestinian refugees must be allowed back to their homeland.
The Islamic Jihad movement also slammed the statements of Netanyahu as Daoud Shihab, spokesperson of the movement, said that these statements are a “continuation of an Israeli policy of delusion, lies, and forgery”.
Shihab added that Israel is trying to void the internationally guaranteed Right of Return, and the fundamental right of the Palestinian people to exist and build their country.
Dr. Abdul-Aziz Shiqaqi, spokesperson of the independent figures in Palestine, said that the Palestinian reconciliation agreement is a significant achievement that must be protected.