Settler leaders on Sunday afternoon held an emergency meeting in Jerusalem
against renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks, but have yet to formulate a clear
battle plan to oppose them.
Following the meeting, the Council of Jewish
Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip asked to meet with Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. It also plans to hold a joint meeting in the
Knesset Tuesday with the Land of Israel parliamentary lobby group.
council is operating under the assumption that three major points widely
published in the media with regard to the talks are true: that they will be
based on the pre-1967 lines; Palestinian prisoners will be released; and that
there will be some form of a settlement freeze.
There is some speculation
among settlers that Netanyahu might temporarily break the de facto freeze that
exists on the publication of tenders for West Bank settlements, as a prelude to
a more lasting freeze.
They have speculated that this break in the de
facto freeze would be taken at the same time that Netanyahu announces plans to
release Palestinian prisoners.
Talks under these conditions are very
dangerous, said Jordan Valley Regional Council head David Lahiani.
should not enter negotiations when you do not know how you are going to get out
of them,” Lahiani said.
“What are this government’s red lines?” he
It is not possible to conclude a peace deal, Lahiani said, adding
that Israel will be blamed when the talks fall apart.
after the talks will be worse than before, Lahiani warned.
head Oded Revivi said that he supported the idea of talking with the
Palestinians, to better understand how best to live alongside them.
he warned, the United States was mistaken if it believed that negotiations
should occur in an atmosphere where Israelis and Palestinians could not meet
each other’s expectations.
“Everyone has expectations that are obvious
the other side will not agree upon,” Revivi said.
He was particularly
opposed, he said, to the idea of releasing Palestinian terrorists as a
precondition to renewed talks.
“It’s absurd,” he said and added that it
was proof that Israel and the Palestinians were not on the same
Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel said that more terror
attacks would follow as a result of the prisoner release.
security will not come as a result,” Kashriel said.
He urged the
government to break its de facto freeze on building tenders and not to halt any
other kind of settlement activity.
West Bank building, particularly in
the settlement blocs such as Ma’aleh Adumim, should continue as an Israeli
right, and should not be linked to the talks or to punishment measures toward
the Palestinians, as it has in the past, he said.
“We should build in
Judea and Samaria, particularly in areas where there is consensus,” he said.