The Arab party, the Joint List, has demands in exchange for its cooperation.
By David Isaac, World Israel News
The Arab Joint List is feeling its oats.
After a preliminary meeting on Monday with Benny Gantz, the Arab party which won 15 Knesset seats in the last election, has a list of demands in exchange for throwing its support behind the Blue and White leader for Israel’s premiership.
Joint List Chairman Ayman Odeh listed some of them on Tuesday in a live Facebook event, Arutz 7 reports. They include an end to Jewish visits to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, and no unilateral steps linked to the Trump administration’s peace plan, dubbed the ‘deal of the century.’
Odeh also said that half of Israel’s capital should be given over for the capital of a future Palestinian state. But he said the party would refrain from pushing that demand at present.
“We have a clear position on the issue of the al-Aqsa mosque. We want to see the cessation of all visits of extremist settlers to the mosque,” he said. Arutz 7 reports that by “extremist settlers” Odeh meant all Jews.
“This is something that [began] during the Netanyahu era, and we want the status quo to be restored. Al-Aqsa is a Muslim place of worship, and east Jerusalem should be the capital city of the Palestinian state. We will be focusing on the issue of al-Aqsa at the present stage [of negotiations],” Odeh said.
The Joint List chairman also demanded that in exchange for his party’s support, Gantz would not take any unilateral steps as laid out in the Trump administration’s peace plan.
According to the plan, Israel would be able to annex the Jordan Valley and some 30 percent of Judea and Samaria – this before any demands are to be made of Israel, a break from past peace proposals which put the burden for concessions on the Jewish State.
Gantz, visiting the White House during the election campaign, told President Donald Trump that he supports the plan.
Odeh also said, “We can’t just say, ‘cancel the Kaminitz law’ and let them go and bomb Gaza, or move forward on this ‘deal of the century.’”
Odeh was referring to earlier reports that the Joint List would focus its demands on domestic issues important to the Arab sector. One of them is the cancellation of the Kaminitz Law, which was passed to combat illegal construction through stronger enforcement of planning and building laws.
The Kaminitz Law particularly impacts Arab towns, which tend to ignore Israeli construction laws and zoning regulations when building.
The Joint List also reportedly was going to demand more action to curb the high rate of violence in Arab population centers. According to one report, Israel’s Arab population accounts for 80 percent of the illegal firearms in the country.
According to Arutz 7, Odeh said that the Joint List “would not agree to a piecemeal agreement with Gantz’s party, but would demand a comprehensive series of understandings.”