Labor party chairman: Impossible to evacuate 100,000 ‘settlers’

It would be unrealistic to remove 100,000 people from their homes in Judea and Samaria, the chairman of the opposition Labor Party reaffirmed.

By: Mara Vigevani/TPS and World Israel News Staff

Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay said Sunday that although he would not have approved the construction of communities such as Yitzhar in the first place, it would be unrealistic to remove 100,000 people from their homes in Judea and Samaria.

Saturday evening, Gabbay told a cultural event that he would not approve building outside settlement blocs and that he would never enter a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also repeated his claim that were Israel to achieve peace with the Palestinians, there would be no need to demolish settlements.

“If we are in a time of peace, we should be able to find creative solutions,” Gabbay reaffirmed Sunday morning at the Israeli Broadcast Corporation.

On the background of statements by Health Minister Yaakov Litzman over the weekend that his United Torah Judaism faction would consider joining a coalition led by the Zionist Camp, Gabbay added that all members of the ultra-orthodox party support this idea. “I am working on a broad coalition,” Gabbay said.

Gabbay also seconded statements by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon that either Netanyahu or Gabbay would head up the next government, predicting that Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid “will not be there.”

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Gabbay: Lebanon and Saudi Arabia More Concerning

The Labor Party chairman backed Israel’s decision to down a UAV on Saturday as it approached the border between Israel and Syria on the Golan Heights.

“I think our response was clear and correct.” Gabbay said. “I am much more concerned with what is going on between  Lebanon and  Saudi Arabia… I call on the government not to enter here a domino pattern that will entangle us in Lebanon.”

Gabbay concluded the interview with comments regarding the Arab-Israeli political voice.

“We need to ensure their presence in politics, but their politicians should be interested in peoples’ lives, and not hostile to Israel,” he said. “They should deal with housing and public transportation, and not with Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas] and the fate of the Palestinians all day.”  Gabbay was apparently referring to the likes of Joint List Members of Knesset Hanin Zoabi and Basel Ghattas, who work against the interests of the Jewish state and pledge loyalty to the Palestinian cause.