The Palestinians are not a partner for peace, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Wednesday.
“There is no partner on the other side. That is the reality. Our soldiers are intelligent enough to understand the complex situation on the field and to know how to deal with it. There’s no immediate solution. We can’t delude ourselves,” he said.
Israel opposes Hamas-Fatah reconciliation, but it probably won’t come to fruition anyway, he added.
“The Palestinian threat [to dismantle the Palestinian Authority] is an empty threat,” Ya’alon told MKs. “Palestinian political and economic interests are stronger than that.”
As for the defense budget, Ya’alon said the Finance Ministry’s intention to enact cuts is damaging.
“We already feel the damage to our operational readiness in preparedness and exercises,” he said. “The Finance Ministry, as part of a regular policy, is avoiding its commitments and government decisions about the defense budget.”
According to Ya’alon, the Finance Ministry treats the Defense Ministry differently than other government offices and is not appropriately transparent.
Israel’s defense cannot withstand the cuts, Ya’alon said.
“We are in crisis,” he added. “We’re existing at a minimal level.”