PM says Sinai is new "Wild West" (JERUSALEM POST) By HERB KEINON 04/24/12)
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Sinai is turning into the "wild west," something that is of great
concern to both Israel and Egypt, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
said in an Israel Radio interview broadcast Tuesday.
Over the last few years, Netanyahu said, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and al-
Qaida have, with the help of Iran, used Sinai to smuggle arms and as
a base for attacks on Israel, as was evident last August with the
terrorist attack near Eilat.
"We are taking action to deal with this reality, and we are taking
action – by the way – in cooperation and continuous discussion with
the Egyptian government, which is also concerned about this," he said.
Netanyahu, who in the interview reiterated his position that the
recent cutoff of Egyptian gas was a commercial and legal issue, not a
political one, said he hoped that whoever becomes the future
president of Egypt will honor the peace agreement with Israel because
it is in Egypt´s interest, as much as in Israel´s.
Regarding Iran, Netanyahu said in an Army Radio interview also
broadcast Tuesday, that two things were clear, and were agreed upon
by US President Barack Obama: Iran must not get nuclear arms, and
Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself, against any threat.
As to the timeline regarding when Israel´s patience might run out
with Iran, the Prime Minister repeated what he has said in the past:
this is not a matter "of days, but also not a matter of years."
Netanyahu artfully dodged an Israel Radio question about whether he
thought Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a "partner."
"First of all I think there is a partner on this side, on the Israeli
side, I am a partner for peace talks, for peace negotiations and also
for a pace arrangement," he said. He added that it was a mistake for
the Palestinians to set pre-conditions for talks with this government
that it did not set for any other government over the last 18 years.
"In order to achieve peace I don´t know any other way then to sit
across from one another and conduct serious talks, perhaps far from
the eye of the media, in order to try and find a solution," he said.
Netanyahu did not evade questions about the possibility of new
elections, and about the "smell of elections in the air," saying that
he is neither eager, nor afraid, of new elections.
"If this will be forced on me because of the circumstances, because
the coalition comes to the end of the road and falls apart, then I
will certainly go for it," he said. "I am not worried about
elections." (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/24/12)
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