Palestinians will overthrow Hamas one day: Israeli premier

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"One day the Palestinians will topple Hamas' rule in Gaza. If the Palestinians could, they would overthrow Hamas, and believe me, one day they will," the Israeli premier said at the National Security Academy's graduation ceremony here.

Warning against the possibility of radical Islamists obtaining nuclear weapons, in a veiled reference to Iranian nuclear programme that Israel has declared an 'existential threat', he predicted a defeat for such elements by progressive forces.

"Eventually, radical Islam will be defeated by the global information revolution, the freedom to spread ideas and with the help of technology," he said.

"This won't happen immediately, but it will happen. The only thing that could delay or disrupt radical Islam's demise is the possibility that (radicals) will obtain nuclear arms," the rightist leader emphasised.

The ruling Likud party Chairman also mocked at the recently publicised law in Gaza under Hamas that requires female attorneys to don head coverings in court, saying that "the fact that the Hamas government is forcing women to wear head coverings is not making the organisation popular among Palestinians".

Netanyahu also reiterated the importance of supporting the Palestinian economy, which he claimed will determine the Palestinians' future.

"Economic development promotes peace. There is a struggle here and in other parts of the world against the dark, radical forces , the last thing these forces want to see is progress", he said.

"The true test is whether we will be successful in helping the Palestinian Authority advance in the direction that Dubai has, or whether it will revert to the ways of the regime in Gaza. I am not saying (the PA) will become Dubai tomorrow or the day after that, but it is headed in that direction. The Palestinian economy is growing at an annual rate of over 7 per cent, and it can grow at a much faster pace," he noted.

He once again pointed out that a future Palestinian state must be demilitarised. "No one wants to see a situation similar to the one in Gaza and south Lebanon, whereby any evacuated area is immediately taken over by terror elements."

"We all saw what happened in north and south Israel, and God forbid this should happen in central Israel as well. This is why the demand for active demilitarisation is crucial to the peace process," Netanyahu argued.

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