PM Bennett at a government meeting
PM Bennett at a government meetingYoni Kempinski

A senior security source who accompanied Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) on his trip to Washington has revealed the Israeli government's true position on construction in Judea and Samaria.

According to the source, the issue came up in conversations Gantz had with American officials, but "less than in the past." The source added that, "There is mostly an American desire not to block the two-state solution."

With regards to the position Gantz presented in Washington, the source said, "Israel wants a diplomatic solution with supremacy on issues of security. The Israeli position is that we can build in the blocs, and also in the towns which need construction."

Gantz also told the US that he had ordered the IDF to prepare for an attack on Iran. Washington still sees a direct attack on Iran as a last resort, to be used only if the diplomatic efforts fail.

A senior Israeli security source said that "the Americans are with us, and at the same time, we as Israelis need to understand that the US is looking at the world in a broad fashion, and they have a different order to their priorities. The Americans understand well that Iran is playing for time, and that they don't have good cards."

"Alongside the relationship with the US, Israel needs to be strong on its own merits. We are not yet in a place where we can use force, it could be that the public opinion will change. Specifically, increasing the pressure by means of economic sanctions may cause the Iranians to backtrack on nuclear issues, and this is the time to do that."

On Thursday, Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked (Yamina) said that she is working to connect the young settlements in Judea and Samaria to basic water and electricity infrastructure.

In an interview with Reshet Bet, Shaked said, "We can connect the young settlements to electricity by means of a Commander's Order which will allow the Defense Minister to connect them to electricity. We are working on that, and I hope that it will happen in the coming months."

About the coalition itself, she said, "If the government functions well, it will live out its days. As long as we work well."

She also said that Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett intends to make his diplomatic visits abroad using the plane purchased by the previous government for the former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

"Bennett intends to use the plane, and he instructed that it be made ready. There is no reason it should stand unused in the Israel Aerospace Industries storehouse, and there's no reason to put out money on commercial flights," she said.

Shaked was also asked if she regrets the appointment of Avichai Mandelblit to the position of Attorney General. To this she responded, "There was a full partner to that appointment, and his name is Benjamin Netanyahu. We did it together."