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Netanyahu Defends Israeli Forces in Judea and Samaria: ‘We Keep the Peace’

October 24, 2018 Special Feature

PM Netanyahu & JFNA Chmn. Sandler at the JFNA GA. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

The Palestinian Authority (PA) publicly laments the presence of Israeli security forces in the Judea and Samaria region (the West Bank), but if the IDF hadn’t been there, PA President Mahmoud Abbas wouldn’t be with us either. “Couple of years ago we uncovered a plot of 100 Hamas to kill [Abbas]. Not kill him politically—kill him,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. “So if we weren’t there, they’d not be there, which is exactly what happened when we left Gaza.”

Netanyahu, in comments to the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA) General Assembly published by his office, said he refuted a complaint from former US Vice President Joe Biden that a persistent Israeli security force in the Judea and Samaria region that would be part of a Palestinian state would prevent it from being a “fully independent state.” Netanyahu insists that Israel’s presence is necessary.

Netanyahu recalled his words to Biden at the time: “Okay, it is what it is. You can give it any name you want: state minus; autonomy plus; autonomy plus plus. Sounds like a rating agency or something. But that’s it—that’s the truth.” And the truth is clear in Gaza.

The Israeli leader on Wednesday described how after Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip, it turned into “a position of radical Islam supported by Iran.” He noted that Gaza terrorists have fired 4,000 missiles at Israel, including targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Proving his point, the same day Netanyahu made his comments, another projectile was launched from Gaza at Israel. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed, the Iron Dome missile defense system fired an interceptor at the projectile.

The incident follows more attempts at arson attacks from Gaza this week in the latest run of violence that has seen Hamas use everything from bombings to terror tunnels. And Israel’s presence is why things like terror tunnels don’t happen in Judea and Samaria.

He said that Israeli forces “having the ability to be there all the time—that’s why the West Bank is not Gaza. …We are in Judea Samaria in the West Bank so nobody builds tunnels—they don’t want to, it’s just a waste of time, we’ll get there. And we keep the peace.”

He also noted that the PA benefits from the Israeli security presence and he contrasted that with what happened in Gaza. There, despite outnumbering the Hamas armed men 5-to-1, Hamas swiftly drove the PA out of Gaza.

“We can’t afford that happening in Judea Samaria, the West Bank or any good part of it, which is about 20 times the size of Gaza,” said Netanyahu, who later noted in response to critics such as Biden that “we’re not going to imperil the life of the state for a label.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, October 24, 2018)

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