Palestinian officials criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's AIPAC address Tuesday, saying that it reflects his "fraudulent policies, which are in contrast with all international laws and agreements."
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's advisor Nimr Hammad said that Netanyahu's speech – and the apparent speech he will give before Congress later Tuesday – was a "clear challenge" vis-à-vis Washington's policies and vision.
The American administration has recognized the need for a Palestinian state, he said. "Challenging the US like this will only increase Israel's isolation," he hedged.
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Hamas officials also slammed the address – which most notably stressed that Israel will not return to 1967 borders.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that "Netanyahu's words about not returning to 1967 lines make negotiation with Israel absurd and wrong."
The prime minister's call on the Palestinian to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, he added, "Is a racist call and anyone supporting it should be branded a racist."
Hamas, he stressed, will never recognize Israel's legitimacy at the expense of the Palestinians' right.
'Netanyahu will lead you to disaster'
The Palestinians are not looking forward to Netanyahu's speech in Congress. "I don't have any expectations regarding his speech," Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah members and Yasser Arafat's former National Security Advisor, told Ynet.
"Netanyahu wants to continue the occupation. He hasn't opened even a tiny window to provide hope for the Palestinian people. It's time the Israeli people understand Netanyahu is leading them towards disaster."
During the Oslo years, Rajoub was the head of PA Preventive Security in the West Bank and spent a lot of time with senior Israeli officials. Now he claims the Israeli government must realize that the situation in the field is different and that the PA has undergone a lot of changes in the past few years.
"To Netanyahu and the right wing in Israel I say – don't expect us to come waving a white flag. The Palestinian state is valid. It has institutes and democracy, and the faster you acknowledge these institutes – you will prevent bloodshed and suffering for both people," Rajoub stated.
The only thing Netanyahu cares about, added Rajub, is his political survival: "He throws around accusations and looks for excuses. He doesn’t recognize the Palestinian people. He should recognize the '67 borders.
"Once he agrees to do that, the Palestinian would be willing to discuss demographics. But he has to stop the settlement expansion. He has to give millions of Palestinians who are his hostages today, some hope."
Rajub is also convinced that the majority of Israelis recognize the Palestinians' right to form a state of their own. "The two-state solution is the only solution."
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