|Photo by: Marc Israel Sellem|
PM: You should ask Abbas why he refuses to negotiate
By TOVAH LAZAROFF AND JPOST.COM STAFF
In separate interviews aired simultaneously on Channel 10 and 2, Netanyahu says he will continue building in J'lem "because it is our right," says recent moves are response to PA status upgrade at UN, not connected to elections.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pointed his finger at Palestinian
Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, when asked about the peace process in
an interview with Channel 2 aired on Saturday night.
asked whether he will pursue peace, Netanyahu said "if we have a partner
for peace." However, when asked whether Israel has a partner for peace
in Abbas, Netanyahu responded:
"You should ask him, why does he refuse to negotiate?"
Netanyahu also said that Israel will build in
Jerusalem, "because it is our right."
He noted that the reason
for the recent approvals of building plans over the Green Line were in
response to the Palestinian status upgrade at the United
Nations General Assembly, and were not connected to the upcoming
In reference to the building plans, Netanyahu declared that "The Western
Wall is not occupied territory, and I don't care what the United
"We are living in the Jewish State," the prime
minister said, and "The capital of the Jewish state, for 3,000 years,
has been Jerusalem. I want to say it clearly."
"On election day,
Israeli citizens will send a message," he continued, "not only
domestically but also to the international community."
know who will be paying attention to the election results?," Netanyahu
added, "[Iranian President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad, [Hezbollah leader
Hassan] Nasrallah, [and Hamas chief Khaled] Mashaal, they'll wait for
polls to close and for results to be publicized. And they'll want to
know if the prime minister was strengthened or weakened."
Iran, the prime minister said that he speaks with foreign leaders on
the danger of the Iranian nuclear program every day. "We are in a
pro-longed fight for our existence," he added.
In a separate
interview aired simultaneously on Channel 10, Netanyahu lauded his
government's economic achievements. When pressed on issues of the cost
particularly housing, Netanyahu blamed governmental partner Shas for
rising housing prices, saying he would retain control of the influential
Construction and Housing Ministry in the next Knesset.
have the [Construction and] Housing Ministry," Netanyahu said. "I have
agreed with (Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor) Liberman. We will take back
the ministry (in the next Knesset)." Shas's Ariel Attias is the current housing
However, Netanyahu said that the government had
"turned around" the education system, as well as decreasing mobile phone
costs and taxes. "You can say what you want," he told the Channel 10
interviewers, "but we did here was an economic miracle," he said,
pointing to Europe for comparison.
Addressing the IDF's recent
Operation Pillar of Defense, the prime minister said that Israel had
dealt Gaza "a very harsh blow," noting that it had destroyed almost all
of the long-range rockets in the Strip. However, he warned that the army
was prepared to deal Hamas an even harsher blow.