Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon expressed hope on Sunday that U.S. President Donald Trump would be “efficient” on the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace process.
Speaking at the Jerusalem Post conference in New York, as part of a panel with former IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz, Ya’alon opined that there is no way to reach a peace agreement with the PA.
"The ‘occupation’ did not start in 1967. It started in 1948. In other words, [the conflict] is about the existence of the State of Israel itself. There is no chance of ending the conflict and there is much to do to enable them to enjoy what they already enjoy, such as political independence. Of course, they depend on our economy, our infrastructure, our security services. [PA chairman] Abbas cannot survive without the freedom to operate in all these cities in Judea and Samaria," said Ya’alon.
"According to Israeli interests, I think we need to understand on the one hand that there is no chance for final reconciliation; on the other hand, we do not want to control them. Between these two realities is the skeleton on which there is much work to do,” he continued.
"I hope Trump will be effective on this issue, but without hallucinations, and of course not blame Israel but lay the responsibility for any future failure on Abbas," he added.
Halutz, who spoke at the same panel, said, "If we want to be a Jewish democratic state, we need to get rid of two million, or even four million, Palestinians from the state, if we consider Gaza. I believe it will happen, one way or another."
The former Chief of Staff, who headed the IDF during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, also related to the issue of Hezbollah in Lebanon, saying, "I believe that next time the Israeli government will accept the Chief of Staff's recommendation to destroy Lebanon if they (Hezbollah) do something. In my case, this was the recommendation and it was not approved for justifiable reasons, such as international relations, pressure from the Americans, etc. There is no doubt that we must use an iron hand every time someone raises a hand against an Israeli citizen. This iron fist is directed at any country that carries out an act of terror against Israel, and it must be punished far beyond what is expected of it. "