Not 'Land for Peace,' But 'Land for Terror'
The reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas is a "meaningless misrepresentation of the facts" that will not last, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon stated Tuesday.
"Hamas and select Fatah ministers have currently reconciled," Ya'alon said, at the Herzliya Conference. "The chance of real reconciliation is zero, and therefore we oppose this false representation."
Ya'alon also rejected the international community's claim that the pact could result in a takeover of Palestinian Arab moderates in Gaza. Rather, he echoed the statements of several Israeli leaders - including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu - that the situation reflects the reverse.
"If one thing will happen from this 'reconciliation pact,' it will be a Hamas takeover in Judea and Samaria, not a takeover of Fatah in Gaza," he said. "This is happening before our very eyes."
Ya'alon further slammed the idea of negotiations - and land swaps - in his speech, saying that both options promise only the illusion of peace.
"We have already gone through the experience of 'land for terrorism,' we cannot delude ourselves," he stated. "The concept of 'land for peace' is wrong. The facts speak for themselves: we got 'land for terror,' or 'land for rockets in Gaza.'"
The defense minister also came out against claims that if the present situation continues, Israel will soon become an "apartheid state."
"We, an apartheid state? Nonsense. We should not be frightened of all sorts of threats and intimidation that have made us make quite a few mistakes in an attempt to 'solve the conflict,'" he said, lashing out at the European Union and US.
Ya'alon then moved on to regional issues.
Regarding Iran, the Defense Minister stated clearly that Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program and the ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons.
"Iran has not abandoned its nuclear-military vision," Ya'alon stated. "It sees the negotiations as a means of avoiding international pressure."
Ya'alon also explained that although the threat of Syrian chemical weapons has "decreased significantly" since an operation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons began last year to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad's arsenal, Israel is still keeping a close eye on its northern neighbor.