Israeli PM's office denies "Third Intifada" concerns

10:18, June 17, 2011      

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fears that the declaration of a Palestinian state in September might lead to a "Third Intifada (Arabic for "uprising"), " according to the local Yediot Aharonoth newspaper.

However, "Netanyahu has never said that he fears there will be a Third Intifada," an official at the Prime Minister's Office told Xinhua on Thursday.

The prime minister, according to the report, is concerned that he will not be able to stop a Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations in September. If riots will follow the declaration of a Palestinian state, he hopes the international community would not hold him responsible, the newspaper quoted unnamed government source as saying.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and Israel Police in recent months have drilled in preparation for the prospect of mass rallies and marches on Israeli West Bank settlements, military installations, and checkpoints, similar to those on the Syrian and Lebanese border.

"There is one scenario in which many thousands, or possibly tens of thousands, begin a march that becomes riots and serious conflicts with the IDF," the Jerusalem official source told Yediot.

The settlements beyond the 1967 lines in the Jerusalem area also worry Netanyahu, who fears that 250,000 people living in places like Har Homa, Gilo, and Ramot will find themselves in a hostile state after September.

Netanyahu and Foreign Ministry officials have met in recent weeks with a list of world leaders, trying to convince them not to support the Palestinian's call for a UN resolution affirming statehood.

Netanyahu is scheduled to travel soon to Romania, Poland and Hungary in his next round of talks with government leaders on the issue.

Source: Xinhua
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