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Palestinian Rage over Netanyahu’s Autonomy Remarks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a weekly cabinet meeting in his office in Jerusalem November 9, 2014. REUTERS

Ramallah, Tel Aviv- The Palestinian authority rejected statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Australia on Thursday on granting autonomy to the Palestinians.

“Neither autonomy nor canton. Those two options are a bygone—without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem for a capital and stretching across national territory, there will be no peace,” Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) official Abu Youssef said.

Netanyahu has previously stressed that Israel could not abide by a Palestinian state that refused to recognize the country’s right to exist. In connection to this, he reprimanded former Australian Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Kevin Rudd’s calls for Canberra to recognize a Palestinian state.

“I ask both former prime ministers to ask a simple question: what kind of state will it be that they are advocating? A state that calls for Israel’s destruction? A state whose territory will be used immediately for radical Islam?” Netanyahu asked.

Abu Youssef’s comment was in response to Netanyahu’s remarks made at his joint conference with Australian counterpart Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Netanyahu said: “I don’t want to incorporate two million Palestinians as citizens of Israel nor do I want them as subject of Israel, so I want them to have all the freedoms to govern themselves, but not of the powers to threaten us, and that’s the essence of what we are suggesting.”

He added that only when the Palestinians “recognize a Jewish state, once they recognize the permanence of Israel and the right of Israel to be there as the national state of the Jewish people, in our ancestral homeland… everything else will fall in place.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs urged Thursday the international community to react to the statement of Netanyahu and his rejection to the “establishment of a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.”

The Ministry said in an emailed press release that the statements of Netanyahu in Australia Wednesday come hand in hand with the position of the ruling extreme right wing in Israel.