Netanyahu says he may offer Palestinians self-rule but no sovereignty

Prime Minister-designate defends far-right parties which will join his coalition government.

Netanyahu says he may offer Palestinians self-rule but no sovereignty

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu said the peace he plans to seek with Palestinians would offer them powers to rule themselves, with security matters in the hands of Israel.

"The only peace that will hold is one that we can defend," Netanyahu said on Thursday in an interview with the US' National Public Radio.

"Palestinians have all the powers to govern themselves, but none of the powers to threaten our life, which means that security, in whatever political arrangements we'll have, realistically will have to remain in Israel's hands," he added.

As prime minister at the time, Netanyahu recounted that in a 2014 visit, then-US Vice President Joe Biden told him that such an offer would not give the Palestinians "complete sovereignty."

He replied: "You're right, Joe, but that's the only one that will last."

Peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis collapsed in April 2014 as Tel Aviv refused to stop settlement building and release Palestinian detainees imprisoned before 1993.

On the issue of the government he plans to form, Netanyahu defended the far-right parties that are expected to be part of his administration after their support carried him to victory in last month's elections.

For Itamar Ben-Gvir, head of far-right Jewish Strength party, Netanyahu said he had "modified" many of his views in recent years.

Palestinians warn of that Netanyahu's government will one of the most radical in recent Israeli history, expanding settlement construction across the occupied West Bank and allowing violations of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem.

Hüseyin Demir

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