Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Yaalon ruled out on Saturday the establishment of a "Palestinian" state next to Israel.
In a live interview panel in the Southern Sharon regional authority, Yaalon explained that it makes no difference what the "Palestinian" entity calls itself. "It can call itself the Palestinian empire for all I care," he said. "The goals of the Authority's head, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), are identical to those of Hamas.
"I began voting for Likud when I was still wearing a uniform, when I was Head of Military Intelligence, after I gained extensive familiarity with the Oslo Agreement," Yaalon revealed.
In response to a question, Yaalon said, "I am willing to serve as the next defense minister. I do not have a promise from the prime minister, but he knows that this is what I want."
Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erikat reacted to Yaalon's statements and said that they constitute "grave threats aimed at Abu Mazen, not unlike the threats directed at Yasser Arafat."