(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
In his first ever interview with Palestinian media, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told Al-Quds that should another war break out between Israel and Hamas in Gaza it would be the last.
The full interview was set to be published on Monday.
Liberman also discussed his vision for the future including a two-state solution that would feature an exchange of territory, with Israel keeping large settlement blocs.
Similarly, in September, during a wide-ranging policy talk with students
at Ariel University., Liberman had called for a peace deal with the Palestinians that is based on population and land swaps.
“The principle of land for peace has failed,” Liberman said.
He promoted what has long been both his diplomatic plan and that of the Yisrael Beytenu party. It calls for the borders of the two-state solution to be drawn in such a way as to exclude the maximum amount of Palestinians and to include as many Israelis as possible.
The best path forward, he said, “is an exchange of territories and population.”
Such a plan would put the settlement blocs within Israel’s final borders, but exclude some Israeli-Arab areas of Israel.
“Why should the Triangle and Umm al-Fahm be part of Israel?” Liberman asked. “Why should I subsidize [Islamic movement leader Raed] Salah and pay [MK] Hanin Zoabi [Joint List]?”
However, he cautioned, such a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have to be part and parcel of a larger comprehensive agreement with the Arab world.
Legally, he said, there is precedence for this. When he was Foreign Minister, he said he had asked the office’s legal advisors for an opinion on the matter and had received an affirmative response in writing.Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.
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