Benjamin Netanyahu Says There Won't Be A Palestinian State While He's In Office

| by Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Palestinians. Palestinians.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is up for re-election on March 17. If Netanyahu retains his post, Palestine won’t attain statehood for at least another five years.

In an interview with The Times of Israel, Netanyahu said he would not allow a Palestinian state to be formed while he’s in office.

“I think anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state and to evacuate territory is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the State of Israel,” Netanyahu said. He added that any politician who supports Palestine is “burying their heads in the sand.”

Palestinians are already keeping a close eye on the election and the prospect of Netanyahu’s re-election may not be a welcome one. Peace talks between Israel and Palestine broke down in April 2014 and won’t resume any time soon. The Palestinian people are seeking an independent state from Israel — Palestine’s statehood is recognized by nearly 70 percent of countries participating in United Nations.

"The two-state solution is no longer on the table,” political analyst Talal Okal told Reuters. "Israel is moving toward isolating and confiscating all of Jerusalem.”

President Barack Obama still supports a two-state solution. Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters that the U.S. hopes for a more center-left government in Israel because it would “brighten for you the prospects when it comes to moving forward on the Middle East peace process.”

Netanyahu is being challenged by Isaac Herzog, who is more liberal than Netanyahu. Israel's election on March 17 is too close to call.

Sources: Politico, The Times of Israel, United Nations, Reuters

Image via Gigi Ibrahim/Flickr