Yadlin: Pay 'Settlers' to Leave Judea-Samaria

Labor Defense Minister candidate Amos Yadlin pushes incentive plan for 'settlers,' says Israel must repeatedly try for peace deal with PA.

Nir Har-Zahav and Tova Dvorin , | updated: 6:53 PM

Amos Yadlin
Amos Yadlin
Flash 90

Labor candidate and former Military Intelligence (MI) chief Amos Yadlin supports a withdrawal from Judea-Samaria, he stated to Yediot Aharonot Saturday - and proposed that the State pay incentive money to families living in the region to encourage them to leave.

"I have no problem with the state offering financial grants to settlers in the West Bank [Judea-Samaria - ed.] who wish to return to Israel," Yadlin said. "This is what was done with the residents of the Sinai and with some of the residents of Gush Katif [now Gaza - ed.]."

Yadlin further laid out his vision for a Palestinian state. 

"To draw these fine lines, I must be part of the government," he said. "The government will formulate defensible lines and manage their negotiations accordingly. We need to determine a recognized border, one that we can be sure to protect and be recognized by the international community. You can produce a border like that." 

"Most of the settlements will remain within Israel in blocs," he added. "The other part will be offered financial incentives to leave." 

When asked whether a peace deal with the PA was even possible, Yadlin affirmed that at the very least Israel "has to try." 

"They are our neighbors," he said. "If we do not want to control them and take away their civil rights, we should divide the land up." 

"The Palestinians, unfortunately, hold very problematic positions which do not allow us to reach an agreement," he continued. "It is our job to look for the possibility of reaching this goal at all times; therefore, even when they are not ready to get to the negotiating table we have to present them with options."

Yadlin added that if such an agreement was reached, "Israel's position will improve in the world." 

However, in the event the PA rejects an agreement, Israel would then start negotiating with its Arab neighbors. 

"There are common interests between us and other Arab countries - such as the Iranian nuclear program, which threatens them and us equally," he said.

Failure for a regional deal with Arab neighbors would then mean a return to "interim agreements," in his view. 

"In any case, any peace agreement will not be accepted without the security arrangements careful to prevent attacks like that after the Oslo Accords," he claimed. "To do this I want to be in the role [of Defense Minister] and influence the process."

Yadlin added that he himself visits Judea-Samaria fairly often, as well as the PA. Two months ago, he visited Shiloh and Rawabi. 

"I connect with my entire soul to every point where our ancestors were thousands of years ago, but since then there are two peoples here, and we must mark a boundary to reach the strategic goal - a democratic Jewish state with a safe and just society," he emphasized. 

Yadlin would not be willing to compromise on key areas of Jerusalem, however, and added his express support for the Elad organization, which is behind the City of David - of which Yadlin himself is a key board member.

Yadlin noted that, despite leftist opposition to the organization, excavations at the site, next to Silwan, were authorized under the Labor government - which kept Jerusalem united - and that the findings "confirmed the kingdom of David and helped counter the Palestinian claims about the illegitimacy of our presence here."

"Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and shall remain so," he concluded. "But where the borders will be will have to be discussed in negotiations." 

Yadlin has a written promise from Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who head the joint Labor-Hatnua list known as “the Zionist Camp,” that he will be appointed Defense Minister should they head the next government.

Some 389,250 Jews now live in Judea-Samaria, up over 15,000 people since 2013.