Netanyahu: Land for peace formula ‘not right’

“The idea that we can give up territory and achieve peace is not right,” Netanyahu said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel must maintain full military control over Judea and Samaria in the event of a final peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“The idea that we can give up territory and achieve peace is not right,” Netanyahu told IDF Radio on Tuesday, adding that “in order to assure our existence, we need to have military and security control over all of the territory west of the Jordan River. This is the truth and I will continue saying this truth.”

Netanyahu said that a full Israeli military withdrawal would create a vacuum that would enable the advent of extreme terror groups, who could pose a threat to Israel’s security.

“Why is there no peace?” he asked rhetorically. “It is not because of the territories or the settlements. For about 50 years, from 1920 until 1967, we did not hold the territories or have any settlements and they wanted to throw us out of Tel Aviv. When we left Gaza, they wanted to throw us out of Tel Aviv.”

“When I ask the Palestinian Authority if we were to agree to all your demands, would you relinquish your demand for the right of return of Palestinians to Jaffa… They sit in their chair and refuse to answer the question. The root cause of the conflict was and still is the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize the State of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People under any borders,” he stressed.

“The moment we will point to this issue and demand a real change in this way of thinking, only then is there hope for real peace. You cannot build peace on the basis of a lie,” he added.

Netanyahu’s comments came as politicians within his governing coalition sought clarification on his position regarding a two-state solution, following his statement on Monday that President Donald Trump is determined to secure a peace deal.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s international negotiations representative, last week embarked on a secretive tour of an area in northern Samaria that was evacuated in 2005 as part of the Israeli government’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza, as well as four communities in Judea and Samaria.

Greenblatt’s low-profile tour occurred amid speculation that the Trump administration is weighing the possibility of asking Israel to move lands from Israeli-administered Area C to Area B, which falls under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control.

By: JNS.org and World Israel News Staff