Photo Credit: Hadas Parush / Flash 90
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the Israeli parliament during the opening of the winter session on October 15, 2018.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli lawmakers at the opening of the winter session of the Knesset that he is doing every possible to prevent unnecessary wars.

“Peace is our soul’s desire,” he said, but added that nevertheless, Israel won’t hesitate to fight if necessary. The comment was a reference to the current escalation from Gaza, with rising and new forms of attacks by Hamas terrorists now happening daily.

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He also slammed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, noting that Abbas has yet to condemn the execution-style murders of two co-workers by a PA Arab, and the shooting of a third in Samaria last week.

“Not only have I not heard a condemnation, but the precise opposition is happening,” he pointed out, referring to the “pay to slay” policy by the Ramallah government.

Netanyahu said clearly that Israel is not creating any obstacles to peace: “it’s by them.”

The prime minister underscored the importance of Israel’s new “nation state” law, once again reassuring those who continue to fear it will cause new discrimination, “There isn’t, and will not be any discrimination against anyone.

“It’s your right to criticize, to propose changes or amendments; constructive criticism is crucial to democracy,” he said.

The prime minister added that he’s hoping to move the IDF haredi enlistment law forward, which he said would underline recognition of the importance of Torah study, as well as the “unity of the nation.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.