Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman 311 (R).
(photo credit: Ronen Zvulun / Reuters)
The Palestinians can forget about any territorial link between Gaza and the West Bank, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Monday on the fourth day of continuous rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Liberman, speaking at a ceremony marking 20 years since the bombing of the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people, said the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip that has gone on intermittently not only for a few days, but for the last 10 years, has buried the idea of a "safe passage" from the Gaza Strip to the West Bank.
"As long as Hamas is in control of the Gaza Strip there is no chance that we will agree to a safe passage, or unsafe passage, or elevated passage, or underground passage, or any passage whatsoever," Liberman said. "The Palestinians have condemned themselves to detachment right now that looks like it will continue for generations."
The idea of a link between the West Bank and Gaza was first documented in the Gaza-Jericho Agreement from 1994 when a "safe passage" between the two areas was discussed, and later during the Taba negotiations in January 2001 when one of the few things the sides agreed upon was a passage from the north of Gaza to the Hebron region.
Israel's concern is that the types of rockets and missiles being fired on Israel today from Gaza would be transported via any kind of Gaza-West Bank link to Judea and Samaria.
Liberman said that just as Iran, via Hezbollah, was responsible for the Buenos Aires bombing in 1992, and the bombing two years later of the Jewish center building in the Argentinean capital, Iran is responsible for today's terror as well.
The foreign minister said Iran was the "oxygen" for all terrorist organizations in Gaza firing on Israel, and without that "oxygen" their ability to survive would be in doubt.