Netanyahu Floats Idea: 'Settlers' to Live under PA Rule
A source in the Prime Minister's Office told reporters Sunday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu believes that if a Palestinian state is established in Judea and Samaria, Jews who wish to remain in that state should be allowed to do so.
The source said that Netanyahu believes that there is no reason for the Palestinian state, if it is created, to be “mono-ethnic.”
The source explained that the idea is a continuation of Netanyahu's statement in his speech at Davos, Switzerland, on Friday, in which he made clear that he does not intend to evict Jews from any communities in Judea and Samaria.
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) quickly shot down the idea in a Facebook post.
“The idea that Jewish communities will live under Palestinian sovereignty, as expressed by the Prime Minister's Office, is a very grave matter, and it reflects a panicked loss of values,” said Bennett. "2,000 years of longing for the Land of Israel did not transpire so that we could live under Abu Mazen's rule”
The idea “pulls the ground out from beneath our settlement of Tel Aviv” as well, he stated.
Bennett called on Netanyahu to immediately deny that the idea reflects his policy.
Two Likud MKs also warned against Netanyahu's idea. Deputy Minister of Transportation, MK Tzipi Hotovely, said that “a diplomatic plan that relegates the Jewish settlement enterprise to Palestinian sovereignty will not receive political backing in Likud. The commitment not to uproot settlements is not enough. It is important that Israeli sovereignty be maintained.”
Deputy Defense Minister MK Danny Danon rejected the plan and said: “Whoever thinks that Jews will live under Palestinian control in Judea and Samaria is invited to try and visit Gaza today and understand the meaning of 'tolerance' in the Middle East.”
Danon added: “In areas where the military will not be present and bear responsibility – no Jew will enjoy security. We will not abandon the settlers behind enemy lines.”
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel warned against implementing the idea and said that it will lead to a bloodbath.
“One of the basic civil rights is the right to life,” stated Forum Director Nahi Eyal. “No one has a moral and legal right to hand over responsibility for the security of Israel's citizens to Palestinian policemen and murderers whom the government released from jail in recent months.”
Netanyahu's plan is unlikely to be accepted by Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, in any case, since Abbas has vowed not to allow a single Jew to live in "Palestine."