'I will never allow the establishment of a Palestinian State in the heartland of Israel'

Minister Ofir Akunis: Israeli sovereignty in Jordan Valley necessary both from a security and religious point of view.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis
Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis
From the live broadcast

Minister of Regional Cooperation Ofir Akunis spoke recently at the "Together for the Jordan Valley" event organized by the Holy Land Redemption Fund, and broadcast live on Arutz Sheva.

“Israel is the birthplace of both the Jewish and Christian faiths. It is the land where our patriarchs prayed, where our kings ruled, and where our prophets preached,” said Akunis.

“By returning to our homeland, Israel is fulfilling prophecy. We returned to the desert and made it bloom again. We restored the ancient language of the Bible and made it speak again. And we rebuilt the ruins of Jerusalem and made them strong again”.

“Recently, I had the honor of meeting the leaders of Israel's Christian communities at a summit at the President's Residence in Jerusalem. Israel is proud to be the one country in the Middle East where Christians both survive and thrive. Our Christian community is growing rapidly and flourishing,” continued Akunis.

“Sadly,” he noted, “this is not the case in Palestinian-controlled areas, where Christians have been persecuted for observing their faith. The number of Christians in the Palestinian Authority and in Gaza continues to drop and Christian worshippers are heavily restricted. This cannot continue. Israel stands with you.”

“When visiting Israel, you don’t need a tour book. The Bible itself is your tour book. Each location and holy site can be found exactly where it is described in the Bible. Be it Jerusalem, Hebron, Shiloh, Beit El, Bethlehem and more.”

Akunis pointed out that “In the United States, there are eleven places named Hebron, five places named Shiloh, four places named Beit El, and six places named Bethlehem. Here in Israel, we have only one Hebron, only one Shiloh, only one Beit El and one united Jerusalem.

“As such, I will never allow the establishment of a Palestinian State in the heartland of Israel,” he stressed.

“Dear friends, one of the most important places in Israel is the Jordan Valley. Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley, and its establishment as our eastern border, will be necessary both from a security and religious point of view,” continued Akunis.

“From a security point of view, Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley will ensure that terrorists will be blocked from smuggling weapons from Jordan to the Palestinian Authority to attack Israel. Similarly, it will ensure that terrorists will be blocked from smuggling weapons from the Palestinian Authority to attack Jordan. Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley will protect the security of Israelis and Jordanians, and prevent the creation of another failed terror state in the Middle East.”

“From a religious point of view, the Jordan Valley is a holy site for both Jews and Christians,” Akunis pointed out.

“It was in the Jordan Valley where Joshua and the Israelites crossed the Jordan River and entered the Promised Land after wandering for forty years in the desert. And it's in the Jordan Valley, in Qasr Al-Yahud, where Christians are baptized until this very day.”

“As Israel's Minister of Regional Cooperation, I will do everything in my power to further enhance cooperation with Christians in the Middle East,” vowed Akunis. “And I will do everything in my power to ensure that Qasr Al Yahud and all the Jordan Valley will remain part of Israel forever. We will develop, build and strengthen the Jordan Valley for generations to come.”



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