ישיבת ממשלה
Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a Cabinet meeting
Photo: Alex Gamburg
Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a Cabinet meeting

Report: Gantz opposes annexing areas 'largely populated by Palestinians'

Defense minister also said to tell security officials he is certain PM ‘will not endanger peace deal with Jordan, strategic relations with the U.S. in an irresponsible move’

i24NEWS |
Published: 06.18.20 , 18:18
Defense Minister Benny Gantz will not support annexing parts of the West Bank containing "a large Palestinian population," according to Channel 12 citing unnamed defense ministry officials.
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  • "Prior to any measure, we will make sure all professional ranks voice their opinion," Gantz said during a recent security meeting.
    ישיבת ממשלהישיבת ממשלה
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz during a Cabinet meeting
    (Photo: Alex Gamburg)
    "In any scenario, we will not support applying sovereignty to areas with a Palestinian population in order to prevent friction."
    "I am sure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not jeopardize the peace treaty with Jordan and the strategic relations of the State of Israel with the U.S. with an irresponsible move," he added.
    Gantz has reportedly been hesitant to fast-track the annexation process, which the government is free to pursue after July 1 as per a coalition agreement between Gantz's Blue & White and Netanyahu's Likud parties.
    אבו מאזןאבו מאזן
    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month, announcing an end to the PA's security coordination with Israel
    (Photo: Reuters)
    According to reports, Gantz prefers a multi-lateral diplomatic initiative, with benefits given to Palestinians as well, as opposed to a unilateral move that could see up to 30% of the West Bank come under Israeli sovereignty.
    Concerns over security issues have also given members of the government pause, especially after the Palestinian Authority, which rules over large areas of the West Bank, announced last month it would no longer coordinate with Israel on security matters in light of the potential move.
    Ramallah has also warned that violent unrest may erupt if Israel goes through with its annexation plans, noting it would also mark the end of the two-state solution.
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