In a visit to Paris today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state unless there were international guarantees that the nation would never be allowed to have a military.
“If it is not accepted, there will not be an agreement,” Netanyahu declared, adding that “the idea of a demilitarized state will in course become accepted.” Netanyahu has faced public condemnation from his own party for saying that the Israeli government might accept an independent Palestinian state under certain restrictions.
Netanyahu was previously scheduled to visit Paris earlier in the month, but canceled that trip. The Israeli press reported that he was outraged by criticism from the French government over his nation’s unwillingness to halt construction in the West Bank.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for the immediate creation of a Palestinian state following Netanyahu’s remarks, and offered to send French soldiers as part of an international military presence in the new nation.