Minister of the Interior Gidon Saar held a meeting Tuesday with local leaders from Judea and Samaria (Shomron).
While the meeting focused primarily on municipal issues relating to the Interior Ministry’s activities, talk also turned to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon’s reported criticism of American pressure.
Saar reportedly implied that he agrees talks are going nowhere. “The offers they bring us are always the same offers: a full withdrawal [from Judea, Samaria and Gaza] and the division of Jerusalem. We cannot live with that,” he said, according to sources who spoke to Arutz Sheva.
Insistence that Israel withdraw from the Jordan Valley “is a test of our morals, and our commitment to security,” he continued.
“We’re protecting Israel in the negotiations,” he added.
Saar also reportedly reassured the Judea and Samaria leaders regarding European boycotts of businesses in their region. “The state of Israel is prepared to find solutions for industries, farmers, and whoever is hurt by this,” he told them.
The local leaders thanked Saar for his support of Judea and Samaria communities. Saar has been particularly firm in his support for the Jordan Valley, which he has openly stated must remain in Israel’s hands.
Analysts have warned that giving up the Jordan Valley would put Israel in strategic danger.
Saar’s comments Tuesday came in response to remarks made by Defense Minister Yaalon, who reportedly condemned United States Secretary of State John Kerry’s latest security plan as “not worth the paper it was written on.”
Yaalon reportedly said Kerry “operates based upon an unfathomable obsession and a messianic feeling.”
Negotiations between Israel and the PA are non-existent, Yaalon said. PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas “is finished” if Israel withdraws from Judea and Samaria, he warned.