Three hundred former IDF commanders sent a letter to PM Benjamin Netanyahu that warned him that annexing territories in the West Bank would be catastrophic to Israel, as it would lead to an uptick in terrorist activity and damage any security cooperation with the PA.
Netanyahu balked at the idea by saying ”swaths of land in Judea and Samaria are not just a guarantee of Israel’s security, but also our patrimony.”
The Prime Minister seems to be standing by his promise that he gave before the April 9th election. He said then that he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the settlements in the West Bank, and promised to permanently maintain full control over security in the entire West Bank.
Netanyahu completely rejected the idea of a Palestinian state by stating that “it will endanger our existence. I withstood huge pressure over the past eight years, no prime minister has withstood such pressure. We must control our destiny”.
The Israeli Minister of Internal Security and Strategic Affairs, Gilad Erdan also blasted the idea by saying. ”Didn’t you learn a lesson from Oslo and from bringing Arafat into the area? From the Disengagement? From your support for withdrawing from the Golan and in the agreement with Assad? Enough!
”How much can you threaten and frighten about an end to security cooperation with the Palestinian Authority? It is, first and foremost, in its interest and, without the security cooperation, Abbas and the PA would long since not be there either,” he said.
”Annexation is a natural and moral obligation,” Erdan said.
The population in Israeli West Bank settlements number just over 400,000 Israeli Jews.