Netanyahu to call for moving fence

Sunday night speech to include economic projects to help Palestinians.

security fence 298 88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
security fence 298 88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu will call for shifting the security fence eastward and initiating economic projects to help the Palestinians in his speech on Sunday night at the Herzliya Conference, sources close to Netanyahu said. Netanyahu will stress the need to ensure that Israel will have secure and defensible borders. To accomplish this, he will recommend restoring the fence to borders recommended by security officials before Supreme Court decisions changed its course. The borders Netanyahu will outline will include the Jordan Valley, the Golan Heights, the Judean desert, an undivided Jerusalem, settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria, and the hilltops overlooking Ben-Gurion Airport, the Gush Dan region and Road 443. Netanyahu gave a preview of his Herzliya speech when he addressed a delegation from the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday. In the AIPAC speech, Netanyahu said that negotiations could be conducted with the Palestinians based on reciprocity if there were a Palestinian partner that recognized Israel and would fight terror. To help the Palestinians, Netanyahu told AIPAC officials that he supported economic projects that could encourage their economic development. Netanyahu is expected to elaborate on such projects in the Herzliya speech. He has made a point in recent speeches of encouraging Kadima to reveal its red lines. In a speech at Tel Aviv University on Thursday, he accused the press of "hiding from the public that Kadima intends to withdraw from 90 percent of Judea and Samaria." The bulk of Netanyahu's Herzliya speech will be devoted to the issue of security. Even though he only reached the rank of captain in the IDF, Netanyahu is the highest ranking soldier on the Likud's Knesset list. Likud officials said it was unlikely that Netanyahu would try to add a general to the party's list ahead of the election, but Yediot Aharonot Internet portal YNET reported that he met last week with former IDF chief of General Staff Dan Shomron and asked him to join. Shomron, however, rejected the offer. Another general who could be asked is Maj.-Gen. (res) Ya'acov Amidror, who headed the IDF's military colleges and the research and assessment branch of military intelligence. Amidror was a vocal critic of disengagement but was against refusing orders. He helped write the plan for defensible borders that is being adopted as the Likud's platform. Amidror said that Netanyahu had not contacted him about joining the Likud and that he did not intend to enter politics. Netanyahu has said in closed forums recently that "generals have to be in the army, not politics." The closest thing the Likud had to a general, former Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) department head Ehud Yatom, won the unrealistic 33rd slot on the list. He revealed on Saturday night that he had discussed the possibility of joining the National Union list with MK Aryeh Eldad. Army Radio reported on Saturday night that Eldad had also talked with Likud MKs Ayoub Kara and Michael Gorlovsky about joining the National Union. Eldad and Kara said that they had received many offers from other parties.