Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday criticized Finance Minister Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, after the latter gave a speech at the Herzliya Conference in which he called on Israel to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
In his speech, Lapid said that Israel should freeze construction outside the so-called “settlement blocs” and also added that, ahead of the next stage of negotiations, Israel should “draw a map in which we define the blocs, where we have to freeze construction and where it is possible to reinforce it.”
Reacting to Lapid’s comments, sources close to Netanyahu said Sunday night, "Anyone who has political experience knows that one does not make concessions without receiving anything in return, particularly with a government which includes a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel."
"We have seen in Gaza what is the outcome of a unilateral withdrawal,” said the sources, referring to the 2005 Israeli “Disengagement” from Gaza which resulted in endless rocket attacks on southern Israel.
“Any map that is presented would be the starting point of the Palestinian demands," said the sources, who added that Netanyahu "will continue to lead the State of Israel while maintaining the national interests of the citizens of Israel.”
In his speech Sunday, Lapid also strongly attacked Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett’s plan for Israel to annex Area C in Judea and Samaria, describing it as “delusional”.
"Extreme rightist elements are pushing us toward delusional ideas of annexation that will lead us to a disaster known as a bi-national state,” he charged, adding, “I do not know if this is a PR stunt or a genuine intention, but we will not let that happen.”