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Netanyahu: Israel Facing Two-Pronged Assault


JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel is facing a two-pronged assault on its existence: terrorist and diplomatic, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said over the weekend.

"In this struggle that we are in, Israel is being attacked on two fronts simultaneously, the prime minister said at a candle-lighting ceremony celebrating Hanukkah on Sunday.

"It is being attacked by the terrorism of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations," he said.

"It is also under a diplomatic attack led by the Palestinian Authority and which is designed to deny us our very right to defend ourselves and seeks to deny us the legitimacy of our very existence," he added.

Netanyahu said Israel is "rebuffing" both attacks.

On Friday, terrorists launched a rocket at Israel from the Gaza Strip. It landed in an agricultural field causing damage but no injuries. Israel responded by bombing a cement factory in Gaza that Netanyahu had said earlier "served to rebuild the tunnels that [Israel] hit in Operation Protective Edge," this summer.

Netanyahu said that Israel had sent a "clear message" to Hamas over the weekend that it is "not prepared to countenance the firing of even one rocket."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said Hamas arrested members of "one of the global jihadist organizations" for firing that rocket. But he said "Hamas is responsible" for anything launched from the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu said Israel had also sent a "clear message" to those "leading the diplomatic assault" against Israel.

"It could be that the Palestinians will, in the very near future, submit to the U.N. Security Council their proposal to unilaterally force on Israel the establishment of a Palestinian state as well as other conditions that are unacceptable to us," Netanyahu said.

"We expect the responsible elements in the international community to reject this proposal; in any case, we will vigorously oppose it and will, of course, not act in accordance with any diktat," he added.

Palestinians want the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, i.e., Gaza, the West Bank and part of Jerusalem, including the Old City.

The idea is to force hundreds of thousands of Israelis out of their homes in biblical Judea and Samaria, a land God promised the Jewish people as an eternal inheritance and force Israel to accept a Palestinian state without any peace agreement or guarantees on Israel's security.

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