Yisrael Katz
Yisrael Katz Chen Damari

Minister Israel Katz, of both the Transport and Intelligence Ministries, will today (Sunday) present a political program at a security cabinet meeting - the "Israeli Initiative".

"I spoke recently with the Prime Minister about an initiative plan, and we agreed that I bring it up for discussion in the cabinet. With the background of the complex global and regional reality, one must present a comprehensive Israeli diplomatic initiative (of which Ma'aleh Adumim is a part) and of course coordinate with the new US administration, which could support and lead in this initiative," said Minister Katz.

Among the initiatives included in the Katz plan:

-"Gaza Island" - Building an island with an harbor and water desalination and energy plants, to be connected by bridge to Gaza, allowing the Palestinians an outlet to the world while preserving the security of the State of Israel.

-"Eastbound Rail" - A railway network connecting Jordan as a land port with the Sunni Arab states in the East and the Mediterranean ports of Haifa, via the valley railroad, connecting the Palestinians with the network as a reality-changing political/economic process in the region.

-The establishment of a "Greater Jerusalem Metropolitan Area" while expanding the boundaries of Jerusalem and strengthening the Jewish majority. Application of Israeli law to the communities of Greater Jerusalem: Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Gush Etzion, and Beitar Illit (which are contained in the Israeli consensus ahead of any agreement) and connecting them to the Greater Jerusalem Metropolitan Area while maintaining their municipal independence like Paris and greater London. At the same time one can establish a municipal authority similar to the Jerusalem Arab neighborhoods outside the fence, which are cut off today from urban municipal services. We must decide and clarify Israel's policy to the U.S. in the fields of construction and settlement, which will allow free construction in Jerusalem to all parts of the population and the building within the blue line of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Minister Katz added, "This program strengthens Israel's position, improves the situation in the region, and also does not preclude the possibility of negotiations and diplomatic agreements in the future. I would like to clarify that I strongly disagree with suggested programs raised recently that include granting Israeli citizenship to 150 thousand Palestinians living in Area C (who within a short period would receive a blue Israeli identity card and Social Security, and would become hundreds of thousands)."

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