Netanyahu: A Vote For Me Equals No Palestinian State

Rebecca Miller

In Israel, an estimated 5.8 million people are eligible to vote in today's elections that will decide who will be voted into Parliament. Voters waited in lines for up to one and a half hours in over 10,000 polling stations. In an effort to secure the vote for re-election, Benjamin Netanyahu issued a controversial statement on Monday concerning Israel's relations with the Palestinian state.

As reported on Fox News, Netanyahu said that he will not allow the creation of a Palestinian state if he is reelected in this week's elections.

"Anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state, anyone who is going to evacuate territories today, is simply giving a base for attacks to radical Islam against Israel," said Netanyahu in remarks to the conservative online newspaper NRG.

He went on to criticize an opponent, Isaac Herzog, the leader of the Likud party said that the left has been "sticking their head in the sand, time and time again" and has ignored this.

"Be we are realists and we understand" the situation, he declared.

This was the first definitive statement where Netanyahu has publicly committed himself to ensuring that compromise or the existence of the Palestinian state will not happen while he heads the Israeli government.

In 2009, Netanyahu had the opposite intention. In a 2009 speech at Bar Ilan University, Netanyahu publicly accepted for the first time the two-state solution.

Outrage at his remarks is being reported in area news outlets. One source, the Daily Haaretz, declared that Netanyahu's comments are a "last-minute attempt" to steal voters from the Jewish Home party, which represents the West Bank settlers.

The World Bulletin reports that the Palestinian faction Hamas denounced the remarks and issued this statement.

"Netanyahu's remarks are proof of the bogus nature of Israel's claims about peace," Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in a statement.

He also lashed out at the desire of the Palestinian Authority for pursuing negotiations with Netanyahu.

The occupation of the West Bank has been mired in controversy and subject to violent uprisings since 1967. International law considers the West Bank and East Jerusalem territories illegally occupied, however, Jewish-only settlements continue to persist, regardless of the violation of International law.

Voters do have a choice in this election. 1280 candidates are taking part in Tuesday's poll, representing 26 parties. The two main parties, the Likud and Zionist Union are the most popular with each predicted to win around 24 seats. There are 120 seats up for grabs during this election.

As reported by Aljazeera, click here to see list of the key candidates and a synopsis of what they stand for.

Good luck to all who are running and may the best candidate win.

[Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images]