'West Bank did not boil over.' Netanyahu
Photo: AP

Netanyahu: Palestinians have right to govern themselves

Prime minister-designate tells Washington Post he intends to 'advance Palestinian economic development while continuing political talks'. Adds: Syria talking peace but enabled Hizbullah to arm itself with tens of thousands of rockets

"There is broad agreement inside Israel and outside that the Palestinians should have the ability to govern their lives but not to threaten ours," Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu told the Washington Post.


In the interview, published Saturday, the Likud leader said "I propose a (new) way, which I believe can achieve progress: to continue political talks and at the same time advance the economic development that has begun and also strengthen the Palestinian security forces.


"I personally intend to take charge of a government committee that will regularly address the needs of the Palestinian economy in the West Bank," he told the American newspaper, adding that economic and political progress go hand in hand.


"In the recent conflict, the West Bank did not boil over. The people there cared about the loss of life in Gaza, but they said, 'We do not want to go that route. We have the beginnings of economic development in Jenin and we do not want an Islamic fundamentalist regime.' They'd like a society with law and order," he said.


Asked whether he thought Israel's recent militarily offensive in Gaza ended prematurely and that Hamas should have been toppled, Netanyahu said "Hamas is incompatible with peace. I hope that the Palestinians in Gaza find the ability to change this regime because we want to have peace with all the Palestinians.


"Right now, what we should do is enable humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza but not in such a way as it enables Hamas to buy more rockets," he said.


Referring to the indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, Netanyahu said "Syria so far has been talking peace but has enabled Hizbullah to arm itself in contravention of UN Security Council resolutions with tens of thousands of rockets. Since the second Lebanon war it (has) hosted (Hamas leader) Khaled Mashaal and other terrorist leaders and closely cooperated with the ayatollah regime in Iran against the interest of regional peace.


"I would talk to Syria about abandoning these courses of action and building confidence that they really want to move toward peace. So far they're not giving that impression," he said. 


פרסום ראשון: 02.28.09, 14:46
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