yaalon office 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was caught on Sunday between two former IDF
chiefs of General Staff offering him opposite advice on how to react to the
terrorist attack in Itamar.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that despite
the attack, Israel needed to continue to do everything possible to bring the
Palestinians back to the negotiating table. He approved tenders for building 400
housing units in the West Bank, but stressed that they were a one-time gesture
following the attack.
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“It is important to continue the peace process,
because the world will no longer let us rule over another people,” Barak
Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon told The Jerusalem Post
that rather than
put on a show by approving construction once, the time had come to resume
fulfilling the Likud’s campaign pledge to build up Judea and
“Building is not the price tag for murder,” Ya’alon said. “For
two years, Israel restrained itself more than we thought we would and more than
previous governments did. We had said we would allow natural development to
enable people in Judea and Samaria to live a normal life. It’s time to return to
the policies we promised.”
Ya’alon said policies restraining construction
in Judea and Samaria were now in place only due to American sensitivity after
the policies had failed to return the Palestinians to the negotiating
He said there was no longer any reason to reward the Palestinians
for taking no steps in the right direction.
“What happened on Shabbat
proves the Palestinians don’t do anything except incite,” he said.
Likud’s nationalist task force sent a letter to Likud ministers urging them to
call upon Netanyahu to fire Barak for not preventing the attack in
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni cautioned against using the attack
in Itamar for political gain. In a speech in Tel Aviv, she criticized
Netanyahu’s calls for the international community and the Palestinians to issue
stronger condemnations of the attack.
“It is not enough to call for the
world to criticize terror,” Livni said. “Our ability to gain legitimacy to fight
terror depends on our attempts to reach an agreement with pragmatic elements.”