(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima)
postponed on Saturday the presentation of findings on the possible repercussions
of a Palestinian declaration of statehood at the UN in September.
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said the report will be presented when the situation in the south calms
The document’s final draft, prepared by committee adviser Barak
Ben-Tzur and MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) who heads a subcommittee on the topic,
was supposed to be presented on Sunday.
Earlier this month, the report
was presented to committee members and defense officials who had submitted
information, so they could make comments and changes.
At the time,
Ben-Tzur explained to the committee that the findings were inconclusive, with
different experts giving different assessments.
None of the experts
consulted expected a new intifada to break out, but some predicted mass protests
near the West Bank security barrier and settlements.
Others said a UN
declaration of Palestinian statehood could further isolate Israel
diplomatically, and even if the Palestinians did not become a UN member state,
they could join UN committees and organizations and cause problems for
“It looks like Israel does not have a clear strategy to deal with
September’s challenges,” committee chairman Shaul Mofaz (Kadima)
Mofaz has criticized the government numerous times in recent
months, accusing it of being unprepared for the consequences of the expected UN
“If the diplomatic process for September had been significant, most
of the army’s preparations would not have been necessary,” he said after IDF
Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz briefed the Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee last month.
Gantz said that he did not think the Palestinians
were “putting energy into organizing events that will cause a step backward from
all of the accomplishments and prosperity they attained in the West
“At the same time, we cannot ignore that the Palestinians are also
sensitive to everything that is happening around us in the Middle East. There is
potential for a conflict and an expectation that thousands will have a quiet,
nonviolent demonstration in areas of friction on the security barrier or near
settlements,” Gantz said. “The IDF cannot endanger the settlements in such a
At the same committee meeting, MK Einat Wilf (Independence)
suggested that the IDF “has to think about the possibility that it may have no
choice but to evacuate settlements facing Palestinian demonstrations.”