Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told Washington he would make no concessions to the Palestinians in response to the current surge in terrorism, and was reportedly weighing canceling a summit with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Germany on account of the security situation.
The prime minister told the Americans that he has no intention of giving any “concessions or tribute” to the Palestinians at this time, Channel 2 reported. He is scheduled to meet later this week in Berlin with Kerry on security and other matters, and separately with German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss an EU proposal to label West Bank goods separately.
Kerry is to hold separate meetings with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an effort to ease tensions that have erupted with a rise in Palestinian terror attacks and violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and on the Gaza border.
Israeli officials have firmly pointed the finger for the spike in attacks at Abbas, with the latest condemnation of the Palestinian leader coming from Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Speaking to a conference of Israeli Americans in Washington, Steinitz said Abbas’s incitement to violence was “the number one inciter in the world of the anti-Semitic propaganda and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel.” He further said that there was “a great similarity between the incitement of Abbas against the State of Israel and the incitement of the Nazis for the destruction of the Jewish people.”
According to a Walla news report, Netanyahu will determine whether he’ll head to Germany in the coming days based on the security situation, or postpone the trip a second time. The meetings with Merkel and Kerry were originally scheduled to take place last week, but were delayed on account of the ongoing violence.
Netanyahu’s office said that a final decision had yet to be made concerning the summit and depended on the state of security in Israel, which has seen near daily terror attacks since the beginning of October.
In the latest attack on Sunday night, an IDF soldier was killed and 11 more people injured when a Palestinian terrorist opened fire at the Central Bus Station in the southern city of Beersheba. An Eritrean man was also shot dead by security forces, when he was mistakenly thought to be a terrorist.
Earlier in the day police placed a concrete wall, 300 meters long and about five meters high in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber, which was intended “to prevent the throwing of firebombs at the houses on Meir Nakar Street [in Armon Hanatziv] and to prevent the loss of life.”
Netayahu on Monday instructed Israel’s security agencies not to dispatch any more mobile barriers to East Jerusalem neighborhoods, following public outrage at the erection of the wall separating Armon Hanetziv and Jebel Mukabir in response to rock and Molotov cocktail attacks.