Prime Minister tells Cabinet Israel’s attitude towards a peace plan “will be determined according to security and national interests of the State of Israel, and these were made clear to our American friends.”
By: Aryeh Savir and Jack Ben-David, World Israel News
Israel’s attitude towards any peace plan will be determined according to its security and national interests, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, while adding that “these were made clear to our American friends.”
Speaking at the beginning of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, Netanyahu related to news reports over the weekend that the Trump administration was at its final stages of drafting a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel’s Channel 2 had reported that Trump’s peace plan includes the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“With regard to President Trump’s plan, we heard plenty of speculations over the weekend; I am not planning to address them. However our attitude towards this plan will be determined according to security and national interests of the State of Israel, and these were made clear to our American friends,” he stated.
Earlier on, Netanyahu’s office categorically dismissed the reports as “not accurate,” adding that Israel’s “security needs and national needs of the State of Israel” would determine whether or not Jerusalem would approve of any peace plan.
Following the reports first aired on Saturday, Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) threatened to quit the government.
Issuing a statement after Hadashot News revealed the key tenets of the rumored plan, Ariel, whose party vehemently opposes the notion of a Palestinian state, stated that his faction “will not remain in a government that recognizes a Palestinian state.”
Cabinet tribute to 40th anniversary of Egyptian leaders visit to Jerusalem
During the Cabinet meeting Netanyahu also paid tribute to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat as Israel celebrates 40 years since he flew to Jerusalem to kick-start efforts that ultimately blossomed into a peace treaty with Israel.
“Today we mark 40 years to the historic visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Jerusalem and Israel. President Sadat took a bold step, he came to the Knesset; he came to Israel. He was welcomed by the entire nation,” Netanyahu said, before noting the two countries’ alliance against terror.
“Since then, the peace treaty with Egypt has survived despite its ups and down. Today, Egypt and Israel, as well as other countries, are on one side of the barricade in a stubborn struggle against the terror of radical Islam in its various fronts,” he said.
“This contributes significantly to the security of Israel. And I hope that in the future it will also contribute to the expansion of the circle of peace.”
Netanyahu’s comments came a day after Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman called on moderate Arab countries to follow in Sadat’s footsteps, and sign a peace agreement with Israel in a bid to form a regional coalition to neutralize Iranian threats in the Middle East.
“(He) went against the stream and paved the way for other Arab leaders to recognize the importance of strategic ties with Israel,” Liberman wrote in a tweet Saturday night.
Netanyahu vows to limit rampant illegal migration to Israel
Concluding his initial remarks, Netanyahu addressed the rampant illegal migration that has swept across certain areas of Israel, particularly south Tel Aviv.
“Regarding infiltrators, we will discuss one of the aspects of this topic at the cabinet meeting. Our policy towards infiltrators is three staged: Stage one is halting. We built a fence and enacted laws that completely blocked the flow of infiltrators and today we have zero infiltrators,” the prime minister boasted.
“Second stage is removal. We removed approximately 20,000 out of the existing infiltrators using various measures,” he added.
“Stage three is increased removal. This removal is enabled thanks to an international agreement I achieved, which allows us to remove the 40,000 remaining infiltrators without their consent. This is very important. It will enable us later to make the Holot facility unnecessary and to use part of the vast resources we allocate there for inspectors and increased removal.
“That is why we are succeeding here. But our goal is to continue removing significantly more than what we have until now.”