Report: Netanyahu Ready to Give Up 90% of Judea and Samaria
A report in the far left Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz Thursday quoted top Likud ministers as saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is prepared to give up as much as 90% of Judea and Samaria in a deal with the Palestinian Authority. If Netanyahu is satisfied that Israel's security needs are accounted for, the report quoted the ministers as saying, nearly all of Judea and Samaria outside of the large “settlement blocs” could be handed over to the PA. “Isolated” communities would be demolished, with residents forced to resettle elsewhere.
The ministers also said that the possibility of a major Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria was not at all remote. Netanyahu, they said, knows that the next round of talks under the sponsorship of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would be dealing with substantial issues, such as the borders of a PA state. The maximum Israel would be able to get in such a deal, the ministers said, is 10% of Judea and Samaria. Netanyahu understands this, but nevertheless is willing to enter into negotiations with the PA, despite the definition of the Likud as a rightist party.
In recent days, MKs from the Bayit Yehudi party have been quoted as saying that the party would leave the government if it became clear that a major withdrawal from Judea and Samaria was on the PM's agenda. Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri said Thursday that the majority of Israelis were in favor of a deal with the PA, even though the majority of the government wasn't. The solution: Change the government.
“If G-d forbid there will be a coalition crisis (with Bayit Yehudi) there are options,” Peri told Army Radio, without naming any specific parties that could take Bayit Yehudi's place.