Bennett: Only Israel can defend itself as US has made mistakes

Economy minister says Israel bears consequences of "wrong decisions" made by Washington during peace process; charges that only IDF, not NATO could defend Israeli security in light of any future Palestinian state.

Naftali Bennett 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Naftali Bennett 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has accused the United States of making mistakes in regional diplomatic efforts that have lead to threats on Israeli security.
The Bayit Yehudi leader told Israel Radio on Thursday that "wrong decisions" made by Washington during the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process have partially lead to the deluge of recent missile attacks from Gaza on southern Israel.
He said Washington's insistence for new Palestinian elections has riled the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip and has in turn increased the threat of rocket strikes.
While Bennett insisted that he had nothing against US Secretary of State John Kerry - the leading US diplomat involved in the negotiating process - the economy minister stressed that only Israel could be relied upon to defend itself.
In light of security issues currently facing Israel and those that could emerge if the current round of peace negotiations result in an agreement that establishes a future Palestinian state, Bennett said only the IDF could be charged with protecting Israel.
He reiterated his rejection of a proposal for NATO troops to be stationed in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in a future Palestinian state to defend Israel's security.
He added that any peace agreement reached by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would be brought to a referendum for final approval.