Netanyahu rejects calls to allow Palestinian state within 1967 lines



London: Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to reject international demands to allow a Palestinian state with a border based on the pre-1967 Green Line and its capital in East Jerusalem, as hardline pro-settler parties and factions are expected to make unprecedented gains in Tuesday's election.

Netanyahu said it is very easy to surrender- he could go back to the impossible-to-defend 67 lines, and divide Jerusalem, and would get Hamas 400 metres from home- but added that he would not allow that to happen under his leadership, reports the Guardian. Netanyahu's electoral alliance, Likud-Beiteinu, is on course to emerge from the election as the biggest party in the 120-seat parliament, with 32-35 seats.

Most analysts expect Netanyahu to invite the ultra-nationalist Jewish Home party, led by Naftali Bennett, to become a coalition partner following a bruising election battle between the pair.

Labour is expected to be the second largest party, with 16-17 seats - up from 13 in the current parliament. The former foreign minister Tzipi Livni may be a more problematic partner for Netanyahu as the chief pitch of her party, Hatnua, has been the resumption of meaningful negotiations with the Palestinians on a two-state settlement to the conflict. Hatnua is predicted to win seven or eight seats, down from a high of 10 earlier in the campaign. Netanyahu needs to assemble a coalition of more than 60 MPs in order to form the next government.

ANI