Netanyahu says Israel to 'stand firm' against Palestinian 'efforts to dictate terms'

The premier said that Israel would not accept "unilateral acts that are time-dependent."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/POOL)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that “Israel will stand firm against any efforts to dictate terms and will repulse all attempts to bring terrorism into our homes.”
The premier made the remarks upon boarding his plane bound for Rome, where he will meet with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss Palestinian efforts to convince the United Nations to force an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank.
“Time after time, we have repulsed attempts to dictate terms that would hurt Israel's security and were not compatible with real peace,” Netanyahu said.
The premier said that Israel would not accept "unilateral acts that are time-dependent."
Netanyahu said this is “especially true at a time when Islamic terrorism was reaching all corners of the globe.”
Kerry will meet Netanyahu in Rome on Monday to discuss various proposals for a Palestinian state that are circulating at the United Nations.
Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz called on Netanyahu to halt the transfer of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority in response to its decision to turn to the UN Security Council.
Two years ago when he was finance minister, Steinitz said, he responded to Palestinian unilateral threats by stopping such transfers. He informed the PA it could receive only half the sum in back payments, because Israel planed to seize the rest as a fine for the unilateral steps.
“As a result is that within two months, the PA promised to stop unilateral moves,” Steintiz said. Asking Israel to accept a Palestinian state in all of Judea and Samaria is the equivalent of asking it to commit suicide.
“Instead of peace we will get Hamas or ISIS in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” Steinitz said.
Hatnua Party head Tzipi Livni predicted on Monday that the Palestinian bid for a binding UN Security Council resolution forcing an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank would fail.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "thinks he has backed us into a corner and we will fold," she said.
"Let it be clear: they won't get what they want,” Livni said. “The Palestinian proposal won't be accepted. The world will reject this text. And, if necessary, the US will use its veto power."
Livni did warn, however, that even if the threat was temporarily held at bay, it would return unless a resolution was found to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Meretz Party head Zahava Gal-On called on Israel to support the Palestinian initiative at the Security Council.
"Bilateral negotiations should be held between two equal governments," Gal-On said.
For the last five years, she said, "Netanyahu has initiated destructive diplomatic policies that have isolated Israel."
If this continues, she warned, Israel will lose its ability to determine its final borders.
Later on Monday, Kerry will travel to Paris for talks with European counterparts and then on to London to meet Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and a delegation from the Arab League, who will urge the United States not to use its UN Security Council veto to block the proposals.
The hastily-arranged meetings suggested urgency in America's drive to manage efforts among Security Council members to draft a new proposal before Israeli elections in March. Kerry said on Friday he wanted to defuse tensions during the talks.
Jordan has circulated a draft Palestinian resolution to the 15-member UN Security Council calling for Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory to end by November 2016, and the Palestinians said on Monday they could submit it in the coming days.
France, Britain and Germany are discussing another proposal, but a senior US official said there was no consensus among them and the United States had not been asked to take a position.
A senior Western diplomat said the Europeans were aiming for a consensus resolution devising a binding, unspecified, time frame and felt the Americans were now open to that possibility. "There is a window of opportunity now, there is a willingness from them to consider...options at the Security Council," the diplomat said.
But a senior US State Department official said Washington had not yet decided that a Security Council resolution was the right way to go. "These things are all very much in flux, it's not as if we're being asked to take a position on any particular Security Council resolution right now. It would be premature for us to discuss documents that are of uncertain status right now."
A statement issued after a Palestinian leadership meeting convened by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah said the resolution will be submitted to the UN Security Council after Kerry's meeting with the Arab League delegation.
The senior US official said the common objective was to reduce tensions and try to coordinate with the various parties.
"We all want to keep open the hope of a two-state solution and we all want to prevent to the best of our abilities an escalation of the violence on the ground," the official said.
Unilateral efforts at the UN by Palestinians to form their own state in the West Bank and the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital, follow the collapse in April of peace negotiations with Israel brokered by Kerry.
If the United States pushes the Europeans to wait until after Israel's elections, the Jordanians could put forward the Palestinian-drafted resolution for a vote in January. Netanyahu said the resolution and its two-year deadline were dangerous.
"This will bring the radical Islamic elements to the suburbs of Tel Aviv and to the heart of Jerusalem," he told his cabinet. We will not allow this. We will rebuff this forcefully and responsibly. Let there be no doubt, this will be rejected."
The US official indicated Washington did not think the Palestinian draft was acceptable.
"The Palestinian draft through the Jordanians contains a hard deadline for the withdrawal from the West Bank of two years, so that is not the way we would look at handling a very complicated security negotiation by simply mandating a flat deadline of two years," the official said.
Israeli officials, who asked not to be identified, said Israel was wary of any resolution that would lay down a timetable for either talks or a withdrawal.
Tovah Lazaroff and Reuters contributed to this report.