Benny Gantz: 'We'll protect the settlement blocs and support existing towns'

Defense Min. Benny Gantz holds meeting with Meretz party members, stresses importance of 'open dialogue' within coalition.

Ido Ben Porat ,

Benny Gantz
Benny Gantz
Flash90

Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White) on Thursday morning met Health Minister Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and other members of the Meretz party to discuss security and diplomatic issues.

The meeting was held at Meretz's request, and Gantz opened by emphasizing the importance he sees in holding open discourse within the coalition, and that his policies are based on careful preservation of the State's security, alongside the advancement of peace and diplomatic processes which will advance peace.

Gantz also emphasized the importance of protecting Israeli society and its unity, and all of its sectors.

Horowtiz said that "Meretz has always led the fight for peace and a just solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and will continue to do so."

He added that Meretz will not allow unilateral moves which will deepen the conflict and make it more difficult for Israel to reach an agreement in the future.

Meretz works in full cooperation with the Defense Minister, Horowitz stressed.

For his part, Gantz presented the Meretz MKs with his policies on the "Palestinian" issue, emphasizing the need to strengthen the relationship with the Palestinian Authority. There is a dedicated headquarters working towards this goal, he added.

When asked about the recent reports regarding NSO, Gantz told the Meretz members that the defense system is currently studying the issue and that cyber export licenses are granted only for issues of security or crime prevention. He emphasized the importance of protecting human rights within the framework of weapons sales agreements.

On the issue of law and order in Judea and Samaria, Gantz said that his policy is zero patience for violence, and that the IDF has allocated many forces to ensure law and order are kept by both sides. With regards to construction in these areas, he said that his policy is to support the blocs and maintain existing towns.

Regarding the town of Evyatar, Gantz said that the agreement reached further reinforces the principle that towns cannot exist illegally, while at the same time protecting the wholeness of the nation and the coalition, and avoiding violence. He emphasized that the site is currently being examined and that a final decision will only be made following the completion of the surveying of the land, in accordance with the law and as much as possible.

Gantz also told Meretz that the IDF is examining the issue of building at the site.



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