Israel should effectively annex Ma'aleh Adumim as a reaction to the current situation in Gaza, Kadima MK Otniel Schneller said Tuesday.
Schneller, after appearing at a Reut Institute conference in Herzliya entitled "Between Disengagement and Realignment," told The Jerusalem Post that applying Israeli law to Ma'aleh Adumim "tomorrow" should be Israel's response to the Kassam rockets in the south and the kidnapping of Cpl. Gilad Shalit.
This would create new rules to the conflict, he said, and would also dovetail with realignment, which he continued to support despite the situation in Gaza.
The current problems in Gaza created tactical problems, but did not alter the strategic vision of realignment - which he defined as creating a domestic consensus for holding on to the major settlement blocs. Ma'aleh Adumim is one of the settlement blocs Israel would hold onto under this plan.
Schneller said one thing that needed to be learned from the disengagement experience was that the next time settlers were to be moved, alternative housing needed to be built before evacuating them. He said realignment would necessitate the removal of only some 30,000 settlers, far less than the 70,000 people commonly mentioned.
"What's the rush?" he said, when talking about first providing housing, and then evacuating. "So what if it takes another year, or two years [to carry out]?"