Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Wednesday afternoon with Dutch journalists during his visit to the Dutch parliament in The Hague.
Most of the press conference was dedicated to questions regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict and the refusal of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
“Their problem is not the West Bank,” said Netanyahu, “their problem is our very existence.”
“We left the Gaza Strip, and what happened there? Hamastan. The Palestinians want also Akko, Jaffa, and Tel Aviv.”
“The Palestinians and Mahmoud Abbas do not accept the existence of the State of Israel. The Palestinians celebrate the murderous terrorism, whether in Israel or around the world, and they name their streets after the murderers.”
“The central problem is that the Palestinians do not accept and do not want a Jewish state [to exist].”
The Prime Minister added that even projects that would benefit the Palestinian Authority were hampered by Arab irredentism.
“I want to build a road or a bridge that will connect Ramallah to Bethlehem and shorten the trip [between them]. And who doesn’t accept [the project]? The Palestinians. Why? Because they are bothered by Maaleh Adumim, with its 50,000 residents.”
“The settlements are not the problem in the Middle East; when we left Gaza the conflict didn’t end. The whole world sees the changes in the Arab world that don’t bode well for peace.”
Netanyahu emphasized that Israel’s primary concern in any possible future final status arrangement is “to preserve the security of the State of Israel.” He added that he “agreed with the Dutch proposal to bring in goods – fuel, etc. – to Gaza.”