Netanyahu's controversial comments have thrown another obstacle in the way of Palestinian statehood, analysts say.
Nazareth - On one level, an incendiary video posted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend looked suspiciously like an own goal.
In it, Netanyahu argues that a Palestinian demand to dismantle Jewish settlements amounts to the "ethnic cleansing" of some 650,000 Jews living in the occupied territories, in violation of international law.
"The Palestinian leadership actually demands a Palestinian state with one pre-condition: no Jews," he says in the short video posted on Facebook last Friday. "There's a phrase for that: It's called ethnic cleansing."
Netanyahu's aim was not hard to decipher. He wants yet another obstacle in the way of Palestinian efforts to seek international backing for statehood. It comes as pressure mounts separately from France and Russia for the Israeli government to re-engage in peace talks.
Now Netanyahu can argue that when Palestinian leaders call for a state free of armed, Jewish-only colonies breaking up any hope of Palestinian territorial contiguity they should be labelled as ethnic cleansers.
Early indications are that Netanyahu's upending of international law may quickly win backing from the US right - and potentially from the next US administration, if Republican candidate Donald Trump is elected president in November.