(photo credit: AP [file])
Public Security Minister Avi Dichter told US Jewish leaders on Wednesday that after Operation Cast Lead against Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Israel was heading for a three-state solution.
"If last year, just after the military coup of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the consensus was that the solution to the conflict is two states for two peoples, we are now talking about a three state solution for two peoples: one in Ramallah with [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas, and another in Gaza led by [Hamas Prime Minister] Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas," he told the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
Dichter went on to warn that this would be "the most dangerous thing," and said Israel needed to be "smart, brave and determined" to avoid such an eventuality.
He spoke also of threats in the wider Middle East region, saying that Iran, by "sponsoring and training both Hamas and Hizbullah," had brought about a new reality in the last twenty years. He reiterated previous evaluations that the Iranian nuclear issue was "not a question of ifâ€¦ but when," and urged "superpowers such as the US and countries in the EU" to face the threat.
Dichter concluded his address by saying that Israel must be "determined not to accept a situation where an enemy equipped with arms will be built in Gaza."
"This will not be done in a month or a year," he said, "but we are a people of 3,300 years, and 60 years in Israel. Even if it takes years, there is no way to accept a military entity between Israel and Egypt."