Avi Ro'eh
Avi Ro'ehHezki Baruch

Avi Ro’eh, head of the Binyamin Regional Council and the Yesha Council, expressed his disappointment on Monday over the package of gestures to the Palestinian Authority (PA) that was approved by the Cabinet and which includes the approval of construction in Area C, which is under full Israeli security and civil administration.

"We are committed to hospitality. There is a visit by the President of the United States, which is a great ally and to which we are committed. But on the other hand, we cannot trust Trump, just as we could not trust Obama or anyone else. The people of Israel must make their own decisions on their own - and not be motivated by other considerations. I do not think it is necessary to pay in the form of gestures, if those gestures are contrary to Israel's interests,” Ro’eh told Arutz Sheva.

"We expressed our opposition to the decision of the Cabinet to give a gesture to the Arabs in Area C. The buildings in the area have already been built and are in the process of being legalized. The government of Israel decided, or the Cabinet decided, to approve this gesture. It is too bad that the ministers in the Israeli government cannot stand their ground, and from time to time agree to gestures and moves to building trust of some kind or another - instead of looking at the interests and the implications for the State of Israel, the people of Israel and the residents of Judea and Samaria,” he continued, adding that he believes the approval of the gestures showed weakness on the part of Israel.

“I think this goes against our interests, particularly that of the settlement enterprise. The Israeli government should not have agreed to the gestures. Even if it seems marginal, it is important to convey to the world that whoever makes the decisions and examines them is the government of Israel - and not at the request of one person or another, even if he is our guest," stressed Ro’eh.

Ro’eh predicted that the newest attempt to bring about peace between Israel and the PA will fail, just as past initiatives failed.

"This has already been tried by every elected president. Maybe [Trump] thinks he can succeed where others have failed, but he comes from a place that does not know the reality of the Middle East, and we have to say things clearly and not stutter. If we have to tell him ‘no’ politely, we have to do it. We are not on a playground. We are talking about the fate of the Jewish people.”