Netanyahu: Palestinian State Must Be Totally Demilitarized

Suggestion of State at All Could Complicate Coalition Talks

by Jason Ditz, February 18, 2013

Speaking at the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that any Palestinian state would have to accept total demilitarization, and would have to endorse Israel’s “Jewish” status.

The comments were likely intended to stake out a hawkish, hardline position on peace talks ahead of Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit, but could be seen as insufficiently hawkish by Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett, with whom Netanyahu is still trying to negotiate a coalition government deal.

That’s because Bennett is rejecting Palestinian statehood on general principle, arguing that God gave Israel both the territory of Israel and all of the occupied territories, and that it isn’t enough room to allow the Palestinians a state of their own.

Those coalition talks have stalled, with Bennett and the Yesh Atid Party both demanding the exclusion of ultra-orthodox parties from the government, and Netanyahu pushing for their inclusion.

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