PM: Didn't Return to Kotel to Reach it in APCs

Netanyahu slams Labor for vowing to keep Kotel while giving up surrounding territory, promises to keep Jerusalem sovereign.

Ari Yashar ,

Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles
Binyamin Netanyahu lights Hanukkah candles
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened the Bible Quiz for adults in Jerusalem on Tuesday night, in which he spoke about the Palestinian Authority (PA) demand for control of eastern Jerusalem in a future peace deal.

"I heard that they are ready to give the Palestinians a capital in Jerusalem, I heard some guy, some lady (Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni - ed.) saying that the Kotel (Western Wall) will remain in our hands," said Netanyahu.

He continued "how will it stay in our hands? Swallowed up amid Palestinian territory? And how will we reach it? In a military convoy? In APCs (armored personnel carriers)? We didn't return to the Kotel after 2,000 years to reach it in APCs."

"I tell you today, on the last (eighth) candle of the Hanukkah holiday - the Kotel will stay in our hands. All of united Jerusalem will stay in our hands, Jerusalem will eternally remain under Israeli sovereignty," added Netanyahu.

The statement may strike some as ironic given facts on the ground in the capital, where Jerusalem Councilman Arieh King has accused Netanyahu of leading to a de facto division of the city by freezing Jewish construction in the eastern half, and not sending police to accompany building inspectors to enforce building laws on Arab construction - there are 40,000 illegal Arab housing units in the city.

King recently noted that there are eight neighborhoods in Jerusalem that are "judenrein," or "clean from Jews," with entry for Jews to all eight of them forbidden by Netanyahu's government since he came to power in 2009.

Netanyahu held a meeting of Likud ministers on Sunday, reports Walla!, in which he spoke about the joint Hatnua and Labor list formed by Livni and Herzog, which polls have shown running neck and neck with Likud.

"There's an initiative here by the Labor party and the left to have the elections without a true discussion on the political topics, and afterwards to fold to the Palestinians and to allow the establishment of the state of Hamastan II in Judea and Samaria," said Netanyahu.

Netanyahu continued "there's no consideration of national interests, rather a consideration of narrow political interests. The goal is to put to sleep the public, which supports our firm line and doesn't compromise on security of the state, and after the elections to fold and withdraw."

Regarding the PA, on Tuesday PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas said his organization would "stop dealing with Israel" if his unilateral UN bid in violation of the Oslo Accords to force through Israeli withdrawals from Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem by 2017 fail.