By Benjamin NetanyahuThe prime minister of Israel is urging Israelis to take a firm stand on the issue of Palestinian statehood, a day after the U.N. General Assembly voted unanimously to condemn Israeli settlements.
Speaking at the opening session of the International Criminal Court, Netanyahu said that the time has now come for Israeli citizens to take strong stand in this issue and make clear to their government and the world that there is no choice left but to recognize the legitimacy of a Palestinian state.
Netanyahu said that his government is currently working on a policy to create a new Israeli state, which he said will have the same borders as the Palestinian state, but would be governed by a new constitution.
“The time for waiting is over,” he said.
“We must now act.
We have no choice.”
The prime minster said that he had asked his cabinet to start a process of preparing legislation to formally recognize a Palestinian-Arab state, and that the legislation should be approved by the Knesset, the Israeli parliament.
He also said that Israel’s policy toward Palestinian state recognition should be based on the United Nations Charter, which has been adopted by every major country in the world, including Israel, which it has been following for the past 70 years.
Israel’s government has been pushing for a new Palestinian state for years, and the recent vote, which passed the Kideshi-led Knessets, marked the latest step toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
Netz, who is known for his anti-Arab rhetoric, said that Israeli security forces should not “use force” to prevent Palestinians from traveling to the West Bank or Gaza.
Israel has long maintained that the state of Israel will be an independent Palestinian state with borders that are determined by international law.
The Palestinians have long maintained they will be recognized as a sovereign state under a negotiated agreement between the two sides.