Labor leader: I will not evacuate 'settlements'

Avi Gabbay says peace agreement does not have be an agreement to evict Jews from their homes.

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Avi Gabbay
Avi Gabbay
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Larty Party leader Avi Gabbay stated that he has no intention of evacuating the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

"I will not evacuate communities as part of an agreement with the Palestinians," Gabbay told Channel 2 television on Monday evening. He said that he believed that signing a peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority did not automatically mean signing an agreement to evacuate Jewish residents.

Members of the political establishment speculated that Gabbay was trending towards the right politically in order to present himself as a viable alternative to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Several of his recent pronouncements bolster this view.

Gabbay said over the weekend that the Labor Party would not serve in the same government as the Joint Arab List. "I do not see anything that connects us to them."

"In order to reach a situation in which we form the next government, we need to have about 27 seats, and Lapid would need about 11 seats."

Gabbay also noted that Tzipi Livni is likely to be involved in his party and added: "I hope that (Moshe) Bogey Ya'alon will return to the Labor Party."

Yesterday, Gabbay said at a conference of Labor Party activists in Dimona that both Israelis and Arabs must understand that Israel is the stronger party.

"We have to understand a very simple thing - we are the strong ones here. They always scare us, but we are the stronger ones. We are stronger than the Arabs. We do not have to be afraid of them – the Arabs have to be afraid of us," Gabbay said.

"One cannot compromise [on the issue of security],” he continued. “One cannot just say, 'It's okay, I understand, they fired only one missile.' There is no such thing. If they fire one missile - you fire twenty. This is the only thing they understand in the Middle East."

Israel destroyed a Syrian missile battery today after missiles were launched at IAF planes flying over Lebanon.

On the matter of the peace process, Gabbay said: "I meet a lot of statesmen and security officials who dealt with the negotiations with the Palestinians. I ask everyone the question: Is there a partner? Half of them say no and half of them say yes. Surprisingly, people with a security background say that there is."








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