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Palestinians slam Netanyahu speech

Palestinians slam Netanyahu speech
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The Israeli prime minister’s speech has brought a scornful reaction from Palestinians.

Any hopes in Ramallah that Netanyahu might give ground were quickly dampened.

The two sides seem as far apart as ever.

While in Gaza, Hamas reiterated its refusal to recognise the state of Israel – Palestinian Authority leaders in the West Bank rejected Netanyahu’s vision.

“This was a statement of someone who wants

to dictate the results of negotiations before they begin,” said Saeb Erekat, an aide to the Palestinian president. “He dictated that Jerusalem will be undivided, that refugees cannot return, that his army will remain on the borders, that his settlements will be expanded and kept, that he wants Palestine to be demilitarised.”

Some in Ramallah are pinning their hopes on the plan by President Abbas to seek statehood unilaterally at the UN in September – something Israel and the US oppose.