Minister Gilad Erdan speaks at the Jerusalem Post Conference.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The international community must take immediate steps to oust Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan said Sunday in his speech at the Jerusalem Post Conference in New York.
Erdan noted that Abbas recently said that if the PA had only one cent, he would pay it to the families of those who martyred themselves murdering Jews and those in prison for committing acts of terror against Israeli civilians.
“This is the No. 1 priority for the Palestinians: encouraging and rewarding attacks against us,” Erdan said.
“Rewarding terror is so important to the Palestinian leadership that it’s cutting salaries and harming thousands of Palestinian families by refusing to accept the tax monies that Israel collects on its behalf, because we deduct the amounts paid to terrorists, as any normal and moral country would do, and as the US is doing through the Taylor Force Act.”
Erdan lamented that while the PA harms Palestinian families and undermines the Palestinian economy, it is also making every effort to undermine US President Donald Trump’s economic workshop in Bahrain, and Abbas should pay the price for his intransigence.
“This time they’re really breaking a new record in living up to their reputation of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” Erdan said.
“It’s truly unbelievable that the one leading the opposition to this effort is the Palestinian Authority. This is something that everyone must be made aware of. This is something that we all must speak out about. It’s time to say loudly and clearly: Abu Mazen [Abbas], who supports terror, incites murder and promotes boycotts rather than co-existence, should exit the world stage and go home.”
The second practical step recommended by Erdan was to apply Israeli law to the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which he called legal, moral and logical.
“These cities and towns are legal, including under international law, and there is no reason that they should be discriminated against,” he said. “There is no reason that hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens need to live under Ottoman or British laws, just because Abu Mazen has chosen terror and a boycott of Israel over peace.”
Erdan said such a step would not preclude a future negotiated peace, if and when Israel has a real partner on the Palestinian side.
“Such a step will also help advance peace,” he said. “It will deliver a clear message to the next Palestinian leadership that time is not on your side. We will not sit around and wait.”
Erdan commended Trump and his team for their efforts to advance peace in the Middle East.
“We need a deal, but a deal that will end a century of Palestinian Arab rejectionism,” he said. “We need a deal that will make the Palestinians finally move forward.”
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