ISRAEL PM RESPONDS TO US OFFICIAL’S ‘CHICKENSHIT’ REMARK SAYING HE WILL PUSH AHEAD WITH NEW SETTLEMENTS
JERUSALEM (AFP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday to make no concessions to the Palestinians after a scathing attack by a White House official of his refusal to reach a compromise for peace.
An article published online Tuesday by The Atlantic magazine quoted an unnamed official of US President Barack Obama’s administration calling Netanyahu a “chickenshit” and attacking him over Israeli policy on settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories. “I won’t make concessions that will endanger our country,” Netanyahu told Parliament.
“Our ultimate interests, first and foremost security and the unity of Jerusalem, are not the top priority for those anonymous sources who attack us and me personally. “The attack on me came only because I protect the State of Israel,” he said.
The official quoted as calling Netanyahu a “chickenshit” lashed out in the Atlantic article. “He won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states. The only thing he’s interested in is protecting himself from political defeat… He’s got no guts,” the official said, adding there was “red-hot anger” over Israel’s settlement building in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Egypt began setting up a buffer zone along its border with the Gaza Strip Wednesday to prevent militant infiltration and arms smuggling following a wave of attacks.
The move, which will see about 800 homes demolished, comes in the wake of a suicide bombing in the Sinai Peninsula Friday that killed 31 soldiers.
The authorities want to establish a 500-meter -wide buffer along about 10 km of the border with Gaza, according to officials.
Witnesses reported seeing dozens of families leaving, along with trucks loaded with furniture. And bulldozers were reported to have begun destroying several long-abandoned houses along the frontier.