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      Hershkowitz on PA 'State': No Need to Panic

      PA's threat to get UN approval for unilateral declaration of statehood should not cause distress in Israel, Minister Hershkowitz says.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 9/4/2011, 5:39 PM

      Hershkowitz
      Hershkowitz
      Flash 90

      Israel does not need to be overly concerned about the Palestinian Authority's plan to unilaterally declare statehood, Minister of Science Daniel Hershkowitz said Sunday, speaking to Arutz Sheva.

      The government is preparing to deal with a variety of scenarios, he said. The public should rest assured that the visible diplomatic efforts being made in the matter are not Israel's only response, he added.

      Much of the government's response is being formulated behind closed doors, among top security and diplomatic personnel, he explained.

      As for concerns that the PA is planning an uprising and aims to target Israelis in Judea and Samaria, he said, “The towns in Judea and Samaria are not in danger. Even if there will be marches, we will deal with it. There are various options... We should not frighten ourselves.”

      Regarding those in government who have suggested that the UN vote could be a disaster for Israel, Hershkowitz recommended looking at their own political leanings. Those like former ambassador to the UN Gabriela Shalev and Defense Minister Ehud Barak who issue dire predictions are expressing their political views rather than giving an expert opinion, he stated.

      Hershkowitz also responded to calls for Israel to annex Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria unilaterally in response to the PA's unilateral land claims. Israel should annex its cities in the region, he agreed – but as a general strategy, and not in response to the PA's plans.