Settler leaders rally against Palestinian state with interim borders

Organizers plan rally after receiving what they believed to be credible information that such a plan was in works.

By
September 8, 2013 18:31
2 minute read.
Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika and Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel.

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika and Ariel370. (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)

As they gathered Sunday in front of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, settler leaders rallied against the possible creation of a Palestinian state with interim borders that could include the evacuation of some West Bank settlements.

They spontaneously organized the rally late Saturday night after receiving what they believed to be credible information that such a plan was in the works.

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Palestinians in the last few days have also spoken out against the possibility of an interim state.

“There is only a slim chance that we will come to a final status solution [from these negotiations],” said Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) as he spoke to reporters at the tail end of the protest, which did not draw more than several dozen people.

The only result that could emerge from the renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians is an interim Palestinian state, Ariel said.

He feared, he said, that the Israeli public would support such a solution because it would seem palatable to them.

Settler leaders and right wing politicians are particularly worried that the plan could include the evacuation of some West Bank settlements.

Ariel said he did not want to see a repeat of the 2005 Disengagement plan in which Jewish communities were evacuated.

“We have a difficult history with this topic and we do not want to repeat it,” Ariel said.

The Bayit Yehudi party had agreed to the negotiations; the issue was not the talks, but rather the topic of conversation between the two sides, he explained.

“We oppose the expulsion of Jews,” Ariel stated.

He warned that the time to work against any agreement that might be reached in the negotiations was now, before a plan was formed and not after it was announced.

“Now is the time to make a difference. We will work to strengthen the settlement enterprise and to build in Judea and Samaria and in Jerusalem,” Ariel said.

His party head, Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, stopped by but did not address the small protest.

Avi Ro’eh, who heads the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, said that in light of the chaos in the surrounding Arab nations, it was illogical to consider creating another one. Add in US President Barack Obama’s retreat from attacking Syria even though it crossed red lines set by the US with regard to a chemical weapons attack, he pointed out.

“It shows that we can’t trust anyone but ourselves,” Ro’eh said.

“The prime minister’s solution of two states for two people is unrealistic, incorrect and dangerous for the state of Israel and its future,” Ro’eh stated.

He imagined a scenario in which Netanyahu would agree to a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria.

“We are trying to explain why it’s not right to create a Palestinian state,” he said.

“We have come to ring the alarm bell,” added Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika.


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