Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday that Israel will protect its citizens from Arab violence.
Last week terrorists carried out 240 attacks against Israelis, killing two and wounding at least 23 others.
Speaking at the start of the weekly government cabinet meeting, Netanyahu called on “Abu Mazen” – the terrorist name used by Abbas among Arabic speakers – to “stop this propaganda immediately.”
The prime minister was referring to Islamic extremist propaganda, and a call by official PA media last week for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem. Both came less than 24 hours after Netanyahu met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Amman. The three leaders had called for a “calming of the situation” in statements following the meeting.
“We will use all legal means at our disposal, including new legislation, to maintain the security of our citizens and residents,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.
“Israel is also being challenged by lies being disseminate to the effecct that we intend to change the status quo on the Temple Mount – this is a gross lie,” he said. “We are being challenged by the unwillingness to recognize the right of the Jewish People to a state of its own.
“Israel is a Jewish and democratic state,” Netanyahu continued. “Democracy here finds expression in the right of every person to vote in secret elections. It finds expression in Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty, which promises full individual rights in a manner that is unprecedented anywhere in the very large region around us.
“The Jewish aspect of the state finds expression in its being the one and only national state of the Jewish People, with a flag, national anthem and the right of the Jewish People to come here. The balance between these two facets in necessary, both to balance our judicial system, which certainly recognizes the democratic aspect, and now needs to also recognize the aspect of our being the national state of the Jewish People.”
Netanyahu went on to say that the government will move ahead with the nationality law designed to create this balance. “It will yet undergo many changes and discussions, but we will make it clear that the State of Israel is the national state of the Jewish People, while providing for equal rights – and ensuring equal rights – for all its citizens,” he said.