Former IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot warned the White House last week about a danger of an escalation in Judea and Samaria in the near future and recommended that the Trump government take this into account in light of its intention to present its peace plan in the coming weeks.
According to the report on Channel 13 News, Eisenkot, who is currently at an in-service training at the Advanced Research Institute in Washington, D.C., participated in a closed meeting with US envoy Jason Greenblatt last Tuesday.
The three-hour meeting was attended by ten experts on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, most of whom were involved in the peace process during the Clinton, Bush and Obama eras. Eisenkot's remarks at the meeting were highly significant because the latter had left his position as IDF Chief of Staff only four months earlier.
Eisenkot warned Trump's envoy about the situation in Judea and Samaria. The former IDF Chief of Staff claimed that the situation is "sensitive and volatile" for many reasons, including cuts in American aid to the Palestinian security services, the economic crisis due to cuts in US aid to the Palestinian Authority, and the decision of the Palestinian Authority to refuse the tax money which Israel collects on its behalf -due to Israel holding back part of the money since it is transferred to terrorists' families.
"The West Bank is liable to ignite before, during or after the establishment of the American peace plan," Eizenkot warned. "You have to take this into consideration. Once this demon comes out of the bottle it will take five years to get it back, " Eizenkot said, according to several sources.
Eizenkot added that whether the American peace plan is put into place or not, steps should be taken to stabilize the situation on the ground "to be a win-win for both sides." Eizenkot recommended to Greenblatt to return the funding to the Palestinian security forces, take steps to improve the economic situation and try to improve infrastructure and education
Greenblatt responded that the Trump government is aware of the risks but intends to publish the peace plan in the coming weeks, after the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.