Israel should attack - Netanyahu : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

24/11/2000 17:05 - (SA) Israel should attack - Netanyahu

Jerusalem - Israel should launch offensives against the Palestinian Authority, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an interview published on Friday.

"We must shift to military offensives against the Palestinian Authority infrastructure to make them understand that they will pay a personal price, a direct economic and personal price, and a general price for the entire PA," he told the Ma'ariv daily.

"An aggressive and consistent policy is, to my mind, the only solution to the problem that has been created," he said.

Netanyahu, a hardliner tossed out of office in 1999, was highly critical of the present Israeli government of Premier Ehud Barak, telling the Israeli daily that the government's policy toward the Palestinians was "one of weakness and sweeping concessions, which boosts the Arab's expectations to the sky.

"Later, in the absence of a capability of satisfying these demands, frustrations are created which are given expression both in outbreaks of violence and in actions of the type we are seeing today," he said.

Netanyahu retired from active politics after losing the 1999 election to Barak by a margin of 44 percent to 56 percent.

However, since the outbreak of the Israeli-Palestinian violence in late September, support for his political comeback has been growing, and he has been making frequent public appearances and allowing himself to be interviewed.

Although he has not yet announced his intention to challenge for the premiership, he currently leads Barak in various polls by margins of around 20 percent.

But at the same time, and despite Netanyahu's popularity in the polls, a Gallup poll - published on Friday in Ma'ariv - also found that a narrow majority of Israelis - 48 percent to 45 percent - thought it impossible to end the conflict with the Palestinians by military means alone.

Moreover, 60 percent supported the continuation of the peace process with the Palestinians, as against 36 percent who were opposed and four percent who said they did not know.

The poll was conducted last Wednesday among 593 adults, and had a margin of error of 4.5 per cent. - Sapa-DPA,1113,2-10-35_945207,00.html

-- Martin Thompson (, November 25, 2000

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