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‘Kfar Saba won’t be another Kfar Aza’ – Israeli leaders furious over reported US plans for Palestinian state

National Unity MKs join right-wing ministers to slam idea of Palestinian state

Finance Minister and head of the Religious Zionism Party Bezalel Smotrich leads a faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, February 12, 2024. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Numerous Israeli politicians expressed outrage on Thursday after a Washington Post report suggested that U.S. officials are working on a plan for a long-term ceasefire in Gaza that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state, and could be presented within weeks.

The American plan directly clashes with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s position, who has repeated his rejection of a Palestinian state several times in recent months.

“I will not compromise on full Israeli security control of all territory west of the Jordan River,” he said in January.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced he would demand the Security Cabinet to issue an official statement rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state, adding specifically that he expected clear support from Netanyahu and ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot of the National Unity Party.

“We will in no way agree to this plan, which actually says that the Palestinians deserve a reward for the terrible massacre they did to us: a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The message is that it pays very well to massacre Israeli citizens,” Smotrich stated.

“A Palestinian state is an existential threat to the State of Israel as was proven on October 7, Kfar Saba will not be Kfar Aza!”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called the American plan as “delusional.”

“After October 7, it is clearer than ever that [the Palestinians] must not be given a state. So long as we are in the government, a Palestinian state will not be established.”

“Have you murdered and also inherited?! Establishing a Palestinian state after the October 7 massacre is a moral disgrace and also a huge danger to Israel’s existence,” concurred the head of the Binyamin Regional Council, Israel Gantz, in a biblical reference to 1 Kings 21:19.

Culture and Sports Minister Miki Zohar and Knesset Member Danny Danon, both from the prime minister's Likud Party, also rejected the reported proposals, citing security concerns.

“If this is the American vision, we need to resist it and threaten them with our own unilateral steps like canceling the Oslo Accords,” Diaspora Minister Amichai Chikli (Likud) told Army Radio.

In addition to the aforementioned strong reactions by right-wing ministers and Knesset members, Gideon Sa’ar and Ze’ev Elkin, from the National Unity Party that is generally seen as left-leaning, also expressed their opposition.

“I warned against the dangerous plan taking shape for unilateral international recognition of a Palestinian state,” Sa’ar wrote on 𝕏.

“This plan will not only not resolve the conflict but will make it intractable. The Palestinians will receive recognition in the state without paying the price of compromise and will continue the conflict from an upgraded position that will harm Israel's right to self-defense.”

Elkin, his colleague in the more right-leaning New Hope faction that makes up the National Unity Party together with Gantz’s Blue and White faction, concurred.

“This step will bring the risk of a repeat of the events of October 7 for the entire country,” Elkin said.

“At the time, no one proposed the U.S. to establish an Al-Qaeda state along its border following the events of September 11. The Israeli public will not let this happen!”

Members of the New Hope faction within National Unity have more right-leaning views than Blue and White and have increasingly voiced dissenting opinions in recent months, giving rise to speculation that Sa’ar could leave his party to run on his own in future elections.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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