Israeli premier rejects Kerry's warning of binational state

AP News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2015 3:09 PM
Israeli premier rejects Kerry's warning of binational state

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's prime minister insisted Sunday that his country is not heading toward becoming a binational state, rejecting a warning to that effect by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Also Sunday, police said a Palestinian stabbed several Israelis before he was shot and killed, the latest incident in more than two months of Palestinian attacks.

At his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Israel will not be a binational state, but in order to have peace, the other side needs to decide that it wants peace as well." Kerry had warned Saturday about the dangers of the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority.

He told a conference at the Brookings Institution in Washington that if that were to happen, Israel would have to assume full governance of the West Bank, potentially leading to a one-state solution that would endanger Israel's future as a Jewish and democratic state.

Later Sunday, police said a Palestinian intentionally crashed his car into two young people walking on a sidewalk in Jerusalem, injuring them lightly before he got out of the vehicle brandishing a knife and stabbed an officer. A soldier who saw the incident as he stepped off a bus ran toward the attacker, opened fire and killed him, police said.

Near-daily Palestinian attacks on Israelis that began in mid-September are showing no signs of relenting. Violence erupted over tensions at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem, sacred to both Jews and Muslims, and quickly escalated and spread.

Since then, 19 Israelis have been killed in Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings and shootings. At least 107 Palestinians have also died, including 72 said by Israel to be attackers. The others died in clashes with Israeli forces.

Israel says the current spate of violence is due to incitement by Palestinian leaders over the Jerusalem holy site as well as videos encouraging violence spread on social media. Palestinians say it is rooted in frustration over years of failed talks and lack of hope of gaining statehood.