Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Monday that the Zionist cabinet and high-level security cabinet never discussed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to unilaterally annex parts of the West Bank.
“I had discussions about it with the defense establishment, but according to the coalition agreement, which we remain committed to, it is not we who should bring it up for discussion in the [security] cabinet and the government. No such discussion has taken place so far,” Times of Israel quoted Gantz as addressing lawmakers during a meeting of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.
According to the coalition agreement that Netanyahu’s Likud party signed with Gantz’s Blue and White list on April 20, the Israeli prime minister is allowed to bring the issue up for approval “to the government and/or the Knesset” by July 1.
“If the prime minister wants to present his proposal to the Knesset, he can also do so through an MK provided that the latter is from the Likud faction, so as to ensure that during the preliminary reading the legislation be adapted to the same wording as presented by the prime minister in the cabinet and government,” the agreement read.
Talking to the Israeli lawmakers on Monday, Gantz said that the US administration’s so-called Vision for Peace proposal, which forms the basis for Netanyahu’s declared intention to annex the Jordan Valley and all settlements across the West Bank, is an “excellent plan that corresponds to the requirements of reality as it is, and not as some would like to see it.”
“The Jordan Valley must remain Israel’s eastern border, and the settlements blocs, including those surrounding Jerusalem, will remain under our control,” the Israeli defense minister and alternate prime minister said.
“Under any [peace] plan, the State of Israel must remain a Jewish, democratic and secure state,” he declared.
Source: Israeli media