Netanyahu calls for break up of Palestinian Authority

 

Declaring that "the Oslo agreements are dead; Arafat killed them", former Israeli prime minister Mr Benyamin Netanyahu yesterday called for the deportation of the Palestinian leader from the region.

He also called for the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority.

Speaking to senators on Capitol Hill, Mr Netanyahu criticised Europeans and Arab states for denying Israel the right to defend itself by calling on it to end its military operation in Palestinian cities.

He said that of Europe - "that 60 years ago refused to lift a finger to save six million Jews" - such views were "downright shameful, but I didn't expect much better".

He had expected better of the US, he said, in comments in which he attacked the administration's willingness to embrace the idea that there can be a political solution to terrorism.

The former prime minister, who was ousted before finishing his term in 1999, is preparing a political comeback with a possible challenge to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, a member of his own party.

He outlined three measures he says the Israeli government must take: the dismantling of the "Arafat terrorist regime" and expulsion of the latter; the "cleaning out" of terrorism and weapons from Palestinian areas; and the erection of physical barriers between large Palestinian population centres and Israeli cities.

He warned the US that if terrorism, in all its forms, was not rooted out and destroyed, the suicide bombers who were currently attacking Israel would inevitably eventually turn their attention to US cities.