Israel makes its red lines clear as Washington prepares Mideast peace plan
BY ARIEL KAHANA. JNS. AUGUST 21, 2019
(August 21, 2019 / JNS) “If the Trump administration’s peace plan contains elements that run counter to Israel’s interests, Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu won’t hesitate to oppose them,” a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.
The official told Israeli daily Israel Hayom that the Jewish state has made it clear to Washington that its red lines include, among other things, the “removal of even one Jewish community or person” from Judea and Samaria.
Additionally, in any future peace deal, Israel will demand full security control over Judea and Samaria and seek to preserve a united Jerusalem, said the official.
The official added that Israel also won’t accept the “return of even a single Palestinian refugee to its territory.”
“It’s highly probable” that the Trump administration’s peace plan will be unveiled in the coming weeks or months, the official estimated, noting that the decision was U.S. President Donald Trump’s alone.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas on Tuesday dismissed Israeli media reports of an Israeli plan to encourage Palestinian emigration from Gaza, and Judea and Samaria.
Arab and Palestinian media outlets, however, paid considerable attention to the story, which was based on quotes from another senior Israeli official.
The official confirmed that the emigration plan was already in motion, and that some 35,000 Palestinians had relocated abroad from Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.
“That’s a pretty high number,” the official told reporters, adding that Israel is also willing to pay for flights and to use Nevatim airport in southern Israel to expedite the emigration.
The official noted that the National Security Council has been dealing with the effort for the past year, and that the government was currently in talks with countries in the Middle East and Europe to absorb the potential émigrés, but that so far, no country has agreed.