(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon spoke out Tuesday against a diplomatic process with the Palestinians that would include Israel pulling out of the West Bank, saying that such a withdrawal would lead to rockets and mortar shells being fired at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Speaking at the Calcalist economic conference in Tel Aviv, Ya'alon said that, when considering a diplomatic process, it must be remembered that every instance of the IDF withdrawing from territory led to a takeover by terrorist elements.
He said the example of Hamas's takeover of Gaza following the disengagement was clear, and that terror sprouted in the West Bank as well until Israel restored order at a heavy price.
Ya'alon suggested that Israel look for a diplomatic process "outside of the box" before withdrawing from the West Bank, mentioning new-found strategic interests shared with moderate Arab states.
Discussing the defense budget, Ya'alon said defending the country had become more expensive, with the need to gather intelligence on a number of small organizations, rather than one state.
The defense minister said reducing civilian casualties requires more technology and more precise weaponry which costs money.
Ya'alon said education is important, even crucial, but "at the end, you have to find the right balance of how to the slice up the cake.”