Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met Tuesday with the heads of the Yesha Council, for what was described by those attending as a difficult meeting.
This was Olmert's first meeting with members of the Yesha Council since he took office. A source at the Yesha Council told Ynet that the Council felt Olmert had already made up his mind against them and that the Council will meet later Tuesday night to decide on their future actions against the government.
"When it comes to Israel and its lands, I feel as you do… I have no doubt that every grain of sand, from the Jordan River to the sea, is part of Eretz Israel and has a direct link to our heritage and history, but I also know that if we want to ensure Israel's future as a democratic Jewish state, we will have to make some painful concessions," Olmert reportedly told the Council.
The prime minister, Ynet was told, assured Yesha members attending the meeting that both the Americans and the Palestinian knew that some territories "are not open for discussion."
Danny Dayan, head of the Yesha Council, left the meeting worried. "We explained the security risk Olmert would be taking by effectively bringing Hamas closer to Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv, we told him we think he doesn't realize that the Israeli society would not be able to stand for another 120,000 people to be driven out of their homes, but the overall feeling is that we definitely have something to worry about."
Olmert, added Dayan, did not speak directly about evacuating more settlements in the West Bank, but his intentions were clear. "We realize the government wants to freeze all settlement projects in the West Bank. What's next? They have us ask for special permits to have children?"
Roni Sofer contributed to this report