Netanyahu: Israel Will Respond to PA with 'Unilateral Moves'
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s torpedoing peace talks will not go unnoticed by Israel - and clarified that it is PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, not Israel, who is responsible for jettisoning talks.
"Throughout these negotiations, we've made tough measures and demonstrated a willingness to continue the difficult moves in the coming months in order to create a framework to end the conflict," Netanyahu stated at his weekly Cabinet meeting.
"Just when we were about to agree to the same framework to continue negotiations, Abbas was quick to declare that he will not even discuss the recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people."
"He did this even though he knows that there will be no agreement without recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people, which we made clear to the US President and other world leaders," Netanyahu continued.
Regarding Ramallah's appeal to international organizations for legitimacy, Netanyahu warned that retaliation may be in order.
"These will only make a peace agreement more distant," he said. "Any unilateral moves they take will be answered by unilateral moves at our end."
After a dramatic series of negotiations, Israel officially cancelled the fourth release of convicted Arab terrorists on Thursday and issued harsh sanctions on the PA over its unilateral diplomatic moves to apply for 15 UN-linked agencies.
In response, the PA issued a number of extreme demands against Israel, including the release of over 1,000 terrorists and a withdrawal to 1949 Armistice lines - essentially demanding concessions on all key issues before negotiations even continue.
The PA also continues to blame Israel over talks failing, claiming the release was pre-planned and that Israel merely wanted to stall for time. Ramallah has also blamed "settlement building" for the failure.
This is not the first threat levied against the PA for their role in torpedoing talks. Earlier Sunday, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett noted that the PA's statehood bid would do more damage to the PA itself than to Israel, and urged Israel to take Abbas and Fatah to the Hague over war crimes - including supporting Hamas and inciting more terrorism against Israeli Jews.