Gantz: No to sovereignty in areas with 'many Palestinians'

Defense Minister stresses importance of bringing any potential sovereignty move before the professionals.

Elad Benari ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Elad Malka

Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday said he would not support the application of sovereignty in areas "with many Palestinian residents", Channel 12 News reported.

According to the report, the Blue and White chairman stressed that his party would ensure that any move to apply sovereignty would be presented to the professional echelons so they can sound their opinion. Gantz reportedly made the comments during meetings with security officials.

"I am sure that the Prime Minister will not jeopardize the peace agreement with Jordan and the State of Israel's strategic relationship with the US with an irresponsible move,” he reportedly said.

Gantz also said, "Before every move we will make sure that it is brought to all professional echelons so they can sound their opinions and, in any case, we will not support the application of sovereignty in areas with Palestinian residents to prevent friction."

The Blue and White party leader further stressed the need to work with the Palestinians and present steps that will improve their lives as part of the process of applying sovereignty.

While the coalition agreement between Gantz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu states that sovereignty over Judea and Samaria can be applied on July 1, the Likud and Blue and White have not yet reached agreements on how the move would be carried out.

On Wednesday, Netanyahu presented Gantz with a series of possible scenarios for application of sovereignty over Judea and Samaria.

Sources familiar with the content of the meeting said a number of scenarios were discussed, ranging from the annexation of 30 percent of Judea and Samaria, as slated in the Trump Mideast peace plan, to a far more "symbolic" move.

Blue and White leaders are careful to stress both publicly and privately that they do not support unilateral application of sovereignty, but want it to take place in coordination with the international community and the countries in the region, particularly Jordan and the Gulf states.

Jordan has been vocal in its opposition to the sovereignty move. Jordanian King Abdullah II recently warned Israel against applying sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, saying that if Israel goes through with the sovereignty move, “it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan".

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz later threatened that the kingdom would review its relationship with Israel if the Jewish state goes ahead with the sovereignty move.

On Tuesday, King Abdullah II spoke to US congressional leaders and warned that Israel’s planned move to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria next month would threaten stability in the Middle East