Netanyahu greets Mitchell
Photo: AFP

Netanyahu: We won't accept another Hamastan

Prime minister meets with visiting US special envoy George Mitchell, says Israel has no desire to rule the Palestinians but must ensure that political process does not result in another Hamas-controlled entity that could threaten Jerusalem

It appears the coveted assurance from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the United States that the Israeli government will back the two state solution has failed to materialize.


The prime minister met on Thursday evening with US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the

Middle East, George Mitchell.


Netanyahu told Mitchell that while Israel has no desire to rule over the Palestinians, it must maintain its security interests.


Prior to the meeting a senior official in Netanyahu's office said that the prime minister would stress to Mitchell that Israel "expects the Palestinians to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish people."


He also emphasized the importance of furthering the West's cooperation with other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia, as these nations have a better understanding of the Iranian threat.

"Israel must make sure that the political process does not result in the creation of a second Hamastan (in the West Bank) that would threaten Jerusalem and the coastline," Netanyahu said, according to the official.  


But despite the apparently tough line from Israel, the meeting was positive in atmosphere, the Prime Minister's Office said.  


The PMO refused to comment on any controversial topics of conversation that may have come up in the meeting, namely the creation of a Palestinian state based on Annapolis guidelines, settlement expansion and eviction and renewed negotiations with the Palestinians.


Instead, they reported that Mitchell rejected recent publications the US President Barack Obama refused to meet with Netanyahu and, on the contrary, had suggested May 11, 2009 as a possible meeting date at the White House. For internal reasons, including the Pope's visit, this date was not acceptable for the Israeli side.


The office also said that Mitchell had not referred to IDF aerial attacks in Gaza.


פרסום ראשון: 04.16.09, 21:34
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