Former general Yoav Galant addresses a political gathering in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: NURIT ZATLAWI)
Yoav Galant, the retired top general who is running for Knesset as part of Moshe Kahlon’s centrist Koolanu faction, told a gathering of potential voters on Monday that Israel “created the Palestinian nation” and that it would “make no sense for us to remain in heavily populated Palestinian areas.”
“We must recognize what the Zionist movement has long recognized from its inception, and that is that the Zionist enterprise created the Palestinian people that live beside us, and they aren’t going anywhere,” Galant said during a campaign stop in Jerusalem on Monday.
Galant, who served as GOC Southern Command during the 2009 military offensive in Gaza, said that Israel would have to evacuate settlements from areas beyond the Green Line, particularly places with an overwhelming Palestinian majority.
Moshe Kahlon, the former communications minister who defected from Likud to form his own Koolanu movement, enlisted Galant to the No. 2 spot on the party list for the upcoming election.
Galant told Jerusalemites on Monday that it would be “inconceivable for the Palestinians to have a military that could endanger the citizens of the State of Israel.”
“If and when a Palestinian state is formed, it must be demilitarized,” he said.
When asked about the future of Israeli settlements in disputed territories, including east Jerusalem, Galant said: “There is no sense for us to remain in places that are heavily populated by Palestinians.”
“That would be a mistake, in my mind,” the former general said. “We must grant the Palestinians territorial contiguity that would enable them to run their own lives in an independent entity while continuing to build and to settle in the large settlement blocs.”
Galant said that he was opposed to granting Palestinian refugees a right to return to pre-1948 Israel. He added that he supported keeping Jerusalem a united city under Israeli sovereignty.