Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday that the Iranian nuclear deal poses a greater threat to the world than the Islamic State group’s militants.
“We are facing the danger of an agreement with the world powers that will leave Iran as a nuclear threshold state, with thousands of centrifuges with which Iran will be able to make a nuclear bomb in a short time,” Netanyahu said at an event honoring former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir. “This is a threat to the entire world and especially Israel, far more serious that the threat of the Islamic State.”
The prime minister’s comments came ahead of the November 24 deadline for a deal between the West and Tehran on Iran’s nuclear program, which Iranian officials insisted would not be extended.
Netanyahu also addressed the ongoing riots in East Jerusalem, which began with the July killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir and continued throughout the summer, as the conflict raged in the Gaza Strip. Police say they have arrested more than 700 Palestinians in East Jerusalem since July, including at least 250 minors.
“The violence erupts in the eastern part of the city. Almost exclusively there, but it’s part of the city, and it’s our city. We will not abide stone-throwing in the capital of Israel, and we will use all means to prevent it,” he added.
Speaking at the same event, President Reuven Rivlin also condemned the Jerusalem violence.
“This violence, which boils into terrorism, must be stopped and severely dealt with by the security forces and police. Even at the cost of forcible action against the rioters — whether Arab or Jew. Jerusalem cannot be governed by groups with an interest to inflame and stoke the fires at their will.”
The president further criticized a group of Jews who had moved into the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan.
“Jerusalem cannot be a city in which the building is done in secret, or whereby moving into apartments is done in the dead of night. We must bear the responsibility of keeping Jerusalem sovereign. We need to take the reins, and manage Jerusalem in an active and straightforward way, with care and thoughtfulness,” he said.
At the end of last month, a group of Jews moved into the newly purchased buildings in Silwan, prompting an angry protest by local Arab residents in which a Border Policeman was lightly injured.
The move-in was timed for the dead of night to mitigate security concerns, and possibly also to embarrass PM Netanyahu, who was in New York to attend the UN General Assembly and to meet with US President Barack Obama and other officials.