Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said Hamas could replace the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, before or after a peace agreement.
“Any sensible person can understand Hamas is able to replace the Palestinian Authority—before an agreement or after an agreement—as witnessed in Gaza,” Netanyahu said, speaking at a Bible study group at the prime minister’s residence.
“In an apparent response to President Shimon Peres’ call to renew talks with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Netanyahu said that, as opposed to the “voices that I have heard recently urging me to make concessions and withdraw,” he will continue to manage the diplomatic process “responsibly and sagaciously and not in undue haste.”
Netanyahu said that Israel must avoid allowing a “third Iranian terror base in the heart of the country,” and that peace will only come once security is assured. He added that the Palestinian Authority regime could be shaken at any time, as witnessed in Egypt and Syria.