Jan. 19, 1997: Netanyahu Interview

Israeli PM Netanyahu reacts to Yasser Arafat's return to the city of Hebron.
9:41 | 01/19/12

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Transcript for Jan. 19, 1997: Netanyahu Interview
Yasser Arafat the Palestinian leader arrived in Hebron today. And the Arab inhabitants of the city newly turned over for the most part the Palestinian control went wild. ABC's bill Redeker was there they'll. Sam they have celebrated all weekend long. Palestinian jubilant that thirty years of Israeli military occupation has come to an -- Most of have brown is now controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Palestinian president Yasser Arafat today was cheered as -- hero. When he showed up -- officially claim the ancient city and declare that an independent Palestinian state is the next goal. I declare have -- a liberated city he said we will continue until Jerusalem. In downtown -- Ron where more than 1000 Israeli soldiers have been left behind to protect less than 500 Jewish settlers. There is anxiety and resentment. And an occasional scuffle between the troops and Arab residents. There is still tension and Chevron especially in neighborhoods that had joined the small Jewish -- place. We're very very upset that 80% of have -- has been given to our archenemy the man whose hands are soaked with the blood of men women and children. And who is now being allowed to come into the city of the patriots. I don't that I am -- is not only the settlers who feel betrayed. Prime minister Netanyahu. Angrily debated members of his Likud political party this week has been accused of breaking his promise to never relinquish any West Bank land. It marks the first time that the Likud is yielding territory in the west bank and area but -- is always viewed as Israel's biblical patrimony. The next phase of the so called peace process looks even more difficult in fact prime minister Netanyahu has indicated that Israel won't dictate. Not negotiate the terms of any future redeployment on the West Bank. And the Jerusalem. Will never be divided. Bill Redeker ABC news have -- Thanks Bill -- now from Jerusalem this Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and -- this in the studios Ali's story twelve. Prime minister thank you very much for coming and we appreciate you joining us this morning good morning. Let's pick up through the end of what bill Redeker Jess said there that ended here on -- and -- did you will be telling people. -- what to do rather than negotiating on what to do is that the case. I think bill Whitaker and study the agreements in fact there is a clear stipulation that Israel will determine. In the course of an interim settlement three further re deployments. Without specifying of course how much we should -- and -- four -- from. But the important thing is that we should do so in order to take into account. Of our security needs. I think that understanding that is -- to determine those. Specific. Specified military locations. For our redeployment. Was clearly stated by the United States it appears -- mr. Christopher. In his letter to me and I believe in his letter to Arafat as well so it is not -- -- -- It's terrible war. It is simply the agreement and we believe in keeping agreements we've just shown and have gone that we keep our agreement a -- expect the Palestinians to keep bears. Their commitments -- -- charter calling for destruction the collective legal firearms. To fight effectively namely to dismantle terrorist organizations. We both departments that's the news about this new agreement -- understand them. When you were explaining the agreement. You said that there was eight new and -- different reality there's no differently could but a different reality. That was forced upon us -- -- on -- Previous government had made agreements that I was designed for scripts. I would have negotiated have been there from where would have. Not have so many holes in the security area of you know to plug a lot of -- -- today. But nevertheless flawed as they are. These agreements were handed over to us as a new government. I pledged in the course of these election campaign. That I would honor. The previous agreements reached by the previous government providing that the Palestinian side. Conduct or rather. Carry out commitments they gave to us and I think all done -- possibly. Well I expect them to do so -- one of the important thing that has been done in the Hebron agreement. Is what is called the polls have Bonn agreement. That spells out very clear terms what are Israel's commitments what are the Palestinian commitments and there's a column C too. Those items that have to be negotiated. I think that has been codified in formalized. Attested to by the United States and it's a refreshing change it means a -- is not a one way street where Israel gives. And the Palestinian received but that both sides have mutual undertakings to one another and we both have to make. Concessions to one another we both have to address each other's needs and I think that's a -- of -- Prime minister 99% of Palestinians -- those who today live in East Jerusalem mark today living under Palestinian Authority. So we're talking about redeployment some occupations of largely -- on have a -- -- -- on the West Bank. Not it is your position that just reinforce what you've said the Cokie. That it is Israel's unilateral decision how much withdrawal -- shall be from the West Bank on the part of mr. That's been our decision -- all the time George but the important thing right now that it's your position I mean the United States position. In a formal letter to us and I think those were important. Because. We have we have to processes here one is the -- deployments in the form. Of an interim settlement. And simultaneously we Begin to negotiate. A final settlement negotiations that will take place -- will be consummated. After these re deployments. The important thing that has happened in the post for Bonn agreement is -- Israel were redeployed to. Those there is that it deems important. -- security and defense but it will still have the option to negotiated. From this position on a final settlement. In the way that Oslo was interpreted by many of these Palestinian side before that Israel was supposed to hand over some early handover. Just about and the entire area of Judea and Samaria the west bank and then supposed to who negotiated. Something that has already been trying to determine -- change. Prime minister this is the third or fourth time that mr. Arafat has sold changing the charter in negotiations with you. There are supposed to be 181000 armed people under this commander at least twice that many that are known terrorists are supposed to be arrested wandering around some of my -- in uniform and their 27 people. Who are suspected killers of Israelis who have not been sent back. Those -- for conditions they have not met. Are you going to proceed with any of your undertakings until those -- -- not. I think that once you have the the idea of reciprocity. And trying does it is now. That a measure of compliance on one side will determine the -- rule of compliance the other side. Now there's not a specific linkage of an item from column they are -- to an item on column B their cult. But obviously if we. We're not going to go back to the situation that existed before the previous -- that nearly carried out Israeli obligations without any regard to. Whether there's reciprocity and the other -- -- has come to a man. Prime minister have two questions one about peace and one about you do you have any new ideas and trying to get the process -- with Syria again and do you think you will. I have a number of ideas and I think -- the process will resume because. I think peace. Should be I think it is I think you also also ought to be -- you have a new idea that you they -- not only aren't -- that you have a new idea that you think could get things started. Yes it's it's a wonderful idea that peace is important for both of -- specifically so do. Well some specifics about -- Definitely do not believe. And preconditions. I don't -- -- -- for example that we have to resolve livable in advance. Of any negotiations vis a vis the Golan Heights Syria will be free to raise its position -- a vehicle -- will be free to raise -- -- Usually negotiations are come to a different and from the beginning that both parties have but I certainly don't have to start. With the other sides of closing of this. Other question about you having members your own part of the -- very angry -- you Mr. Big in the former prime minister's son resigned from your cabinet protest. The Liberal Party is angry saying you defile the memory of the late Yitzhak Rabin by saying you've gotten done what he couldn't do. What is your political base now and what your government survive. Government to survive in very well in my political base is very wide public government water -- -- Let me tell you what I think is important thing. The people of Israel are united in the desire for peace. We were elected not to obstruct the peace but to do two things one negotiate in a different way that is insisting on reciprocity and security and we've done that. And second is negotiated towards a different and one that -- Jerusalem united one that gives Israel the necessary areas and terrain to defend itself. That maintains the right of Jews to settle in their ancestral homeland. And -- would -- to give the Palestinians were to offer the Palestinians. Self government but without those sovereign -- of could threaten Israel that's the mandate and we're going forward with a and I think we have the majority of the people behind thank you very much prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu please come back to back to see a -- will.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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