The Likud already ripped itself apart once, MK Tzipi Hotovely told Israel Radio Thursday, and it was not prepared to do so again. The reason for that split was the disengagement from Gaza and northern Samaria, and no Likud member today has the stomach or desire to return to those days, she said.
Hotovely was responding to a report in Ha'aretz Thursday that several Likud ministers had said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was prepared to surrender as much as 90% of Judea and Samaria. 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 Likud was devastated once by Ariel Sharon as a result of his disengagement plan,” Hotovely said. “We will not allow a similar process to destroy Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria, as well as destroying the values of the Likud. There is no support for this, not in the party or in the nation.”
Meanwhile, speaking to Israeli Radio, PA senior official Jibril Rajoub said that the PA was open to hearing ideas about an Israeli withdrawal from 90% of Judea and Samaria. If it becomes clear to the PA that Netanyahu “is serious about the two state solution, we are prepared to meet him in the middle of the road. We are ready to begin talking tomorrow.” Rajoub did not elaborate on what he meant by “middle of the road,” but stressed that the PA was prepared “to take brave steps for peace,” and expressed hope that the U.S. would present “a clear plan.”