Ashkenazi: Failure in negotiations could lead to violence

IDF chief reportedly says possible breakdown in talks would, however, not cause level of violence seen in October 2000; MK Eldad says Ashkenazi being "unnecessarily ambivalent."

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL, JPOST.COM STAFF
September 21, 2010 13:49
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi speaks publicly for the first time on Wednesday.

Ashkenazi 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi warned Tuesday that violent clashes could resume between Israelis and Palestinians, if there is a failure in peace negotiations between the two sides.

Ashkenazi said, however that he does not believe that the initial Palestinian reaction to any possible failure of talks would look at all similar to the violence of 2000.

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Speaking at a Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting, Ashkenazi was referring to the violence of the second intifada which broke out in October 2000 and lead to a number of deaths on both sides.

"We must be prepared for every possibility," Ashkenazi told the committee.

"The Palestinians have relatively low expectations regarding progress, whereas in Israel, tensions exist among the Jewish population and the aspiration to end the construction freeze in settlements."

MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) criticized Ashkanazi's assessment of the situation in the West Bank as unnecessarily ambivalent saying "Ashkenazi basically said either it will rain tomorrow or it will not"

"There is no doubt that the Palestinians are planning an armed conflict, and are waiting to use the failure of negotiations as an excuse," he continued.


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