סיור בני גנץ פיקוד העורף
Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting with army officials
Photo: Defense MInistry
Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting with army officials

Gantz: Israel will not wait for the Palestinians

Defense Minister signals that he will support unilateral application of sovereignty in the West Bank; Army Radio says Foreign Minister Ashkenazi is working behind the scenes to 'thwart' annexation plans

Yoav Zitun, i24NEWS |
Published: 06.23.20 , 18:24
Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday said that though he is willing to enter direct talks with the Palestinians, Israel "will not wait forever", indicating that he could back the unilateral annexation of territory in the West Bank.
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  • “The Palestinians continue to reject dialogue. We might have to advance without them. We won't get into their deep shit,” he said.
    סיור בני גנץ פיקוד העורףסיור בני גנץ פיקוד העורף
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz meeting with army officials
    (Photo: Defense Ministry)
    Gantz's comments came amid a meeting with defense officials who presented him with the various security concerns involving the initiative.
    “We won’t take Palestinians into our territory, we won’t harm human rights or the right of movement, we’ll work in coordination with regional countries and we’re in contact with them, we won’t endanger the peace agreements,” he said.
    Also on Tuesday, Army Radio reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is working behind the scenes to thwart Jerusalem's plans to annex territories in the West Bank.
    ועדת החוץ והביטחון: בקשת הממשלה להארכת תוקף הסמכת שירות הביטחון הכללי לסייע בצמצום התפשטות הקורונהועדת החוץ והביטחון: בקשת הממשלה להארכת תוקף הסמכת שירות הביטחון הכללי לסייע בצמצום התפשטות הקורונה
    Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi
    (Photo: Knesset Channel)
    Citing a senior United Nations official, Army Radio quoted the source as saying there is “not a single logical reason for Israel to take a unilateral step” toward annexation.
    The unnamed UN official reportedly conveyed the same message to senior Israeli politicians.
    In response, Ashkenazi's office said the Foreign Ministry is fully committed to the Trump peace plan, but any move to extend Israel's sovereignty into the West Bank must be coordinated with Washington and countries in the region.
    Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov, who addressed an anti-annexation demonstration in Jericho on Monday, denied that he was the quoted Army Radio's source, according to The Jerusalem Post.
    UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov
    UN Special Envoy for the Middle East Nickolay Mladenov
    (Photo: AP)
    Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Tuesday said that though he is willing to enter direct talks with the Palestinians, Israel "will not wait forever", indicating that he could back the unilateral initiative if there is no progress towards peace.
    “We won’t continue to wait for the Palestinians. If they say ‘no’ forever to everything then we’ll be forced to move forward without them,” he said.
    “We won’t take Palestinians into our territory, we won’t harm human rights or the right of movement, we’ll work in coordination with regional countries and we’re in contact with them, we won’t endanger the peace agreements,” he says in a briefing to reporters.
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