"Israel must not, under any circumstances, withdraw from Jerusalem and allow another terrorism base to be established in the heart of the country," Opposition Leader Benjamin Netanyahu stated Wednesday.
Speaking during the Jerusalem Conference held at the Hyatt Hotel in the capital, the Likud chairman added, "It should be made clear that Hamas would enter any place we withdraw from. Signing an agreement with the weaker elements in the Palestinian Authority makes them even weaker."
According to Netanyahu, "Islamic fundamentalism constitutes a conventional and unconventional threat to Israel. The Iranians are building bases in the Middle East. Our two withdrawals have brought Hizbullah and Hamas to positions of power – the withdrawal from Lebanon emboldened Hizbullah and the pullout from Gaza strengthened Hamas.
"Signing an agreement with such a weak Palestinian government signals Hamas and Iran that Israel is planning a pullout, and that Iran can move to fill in the void. If we withdraw from Jerusalem, it will become the Mecca of global terror.
"If you want peace in Jerusalem, keep it unified," he stressed.
'If it walks like a duck – J'lem will be divided'Commenting on Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's meeting wit Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday, Netanyahu said, "The prime minister said we're not discussing Jerusalem, and that the issue has been postponed to the final stage of the talks.
"But I say – if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, they are planning to divide Jerusalem."
The Likud leader also reiterated his stance that the only process that can currently be achieved with the Palestinians is an economic one. "A government under my leadership would develop the Palestinian economy, assist with investments and help create jobs. Simultaneously, we will examine the Palestinians' ability to prevent terror.
"The economic process should be separate from the diplomatic one," he concluded.