Benny Gantz: We will never go back to '67 lines – watch

"I hope that they decide to give up dreams, illusions," Gantz said of the Palestinian Authority. "The right to return will never happen. We will never go back to '67 lines."

Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020. (photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)
Benny Gantz, leader of Blue and White party, speaks during an election campaign rally in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, Israel, February 25, 2020.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)
"We need to re-evaluate everything we are doing in Gaza," Blue and White leader Benny Gantz told i24News.
In an interview ahead of the Israeli general election to be held on Monday, Gantz said that the Israeli government needed to make a decision between two disparate options: either "total calm" by bringing home the soldiers who are being held in Gaza, "or we need to go to a militarily decisive campaign," he said.
"Things need to be done differently," he continued, suggesting that soft power measures could be used, such as building infrastructure in Gaza.
Cash payments made to Hamas were "protection money," and were "unacceptable," he added.
The firing of rockets and dispatch of incendiary balloons by militants into Israel should be met with a "very harsh reaction," Gantz insisted, adding that "We should practice zero tolerance."
But he said that the question of peace in the region was in the hands of Hamas, and that if they would be willing to de-escalate tensions and return the bodies of IDF soldiers being held in Gaza, Israel under his leadership would be happy to help Gazans to improve their quality of life.
"The people of Gaza have the right to live normally, but they have to act normally," he said.
Asked about US President Donald Trump's "Deal of the Century," Gantz was overall positive about the peace plan.
"As a whole package, it makes sense," he said. "It sees the reality as it is... The Palestinians are here, we are here, lets see how we can [live] together."
Gantz said were concerns about aspects of the plan, but that the details should wait until after the election as it would take months to properly implement.
Other moderate powers in the region such as Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia needed to be consulted on the plan, he said, but he added: "If down the road, the Palestinians will continue to refuse to move forward, then we will have to see whether we are willing to do it unilaterally or not.
The Palestinian Authority "has to be a partner," he said. "I hope that they decide to give up dreams, illusions, we are not going anywhere. The right to return will never happen. We will never go back to '67 lines."


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