Science and Technology Minister Izhar Shay, in an interview with the Mishpacha newspaper on Friday, commented on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s plan to apply sovereignty over parts of Judea and Samaria as part of US President Donald Trump's “Deal of the Century”.
"I believe that the steps that the Likud is promoting are measures that I think are too quick. I believe that they will not serve the security interests of the State of Israel,” said Shay.
“At the end of the day, the Trump plan is a great plan. It includes all the elements we need for a stable and lasting peace that ensures the security of the State of Israel for many more years and also gives the Palestinians their own needs. We do have some reservations on issues over which there is certainly a consensus in the State of Israel, but the plan in general is an excellent plan that describes a stable situation of peace in the Middle East that guarantees the State of Israel to be a strong Jewish and democratic state alongside a demilitarized Palestinian state."
"The plan details a situation in which Hamas will disarm, and in any case there is one Israeli army between Jordan and the Mediterranean that is responsible for security at all borders. The plan is excellent, it looks after the security components. On the other hand, it cares for the Palestinian Authority in a way no one has cared about it before. It gives them an economic horizon and hope. Therefore, to answer your question, unilateral steps now, that are not within the framework of the plan, could sabotage the chances that the overall ‘Trump plan’ will be implemented, which would be a shame," said Shay.
"On the other hand, as usual, the Palestinians are not missing the opportunity to miss this opportunity as well. Instead of saying that there is a superpower here that gives approval to a real debate that guarantees their rights, which gives them a state, economic future, security and borders, they immediately refuse talking even before we discuss it. To this day, this has not led them anywhere, since 1967 or more precisely since 1948 they could have had a state, capital and borders and instead they cause endless poverty, endless suffering, tens of thousands of casualties and deaths and zero hope.”
"And as for us, we need to look after the interests of the citizens of Israel. Going now to a quick and unilateral move would be a detriment to Israel's security and national interests. This could undermine stability in the Middle East.”
“Breaking the peace agreement with Jordan. Causing, God forbid, in the years to come, harm to the lives of civilians and IDF soldiers and undermining the economy and status of the State of Israel for many years. So to go and take a step just to say that we have applied sovereignty would be wrong. It is precisely for this that we have written a complex and orderly process that takes into account all the security and economic implications, and this also includes the need to obtain the professional opinion of the heads of the security establishment regarding the results and consequences of such measures.”
“The agreement between us and the Likud dictates that an agreement must be reached with the United States and with countries in the region and that we must be sure not to violate the peace agreement with Jordan and harm regional stability. Without making sure all these things happen, it would be terrible foolishness to go for a one-sided move that only endangers us and gives us no advantage over the situation that exists today," concluded Shay.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)