Former prime minister Ehud Barak said Thursday that Israel should consider unilateral moves to disengage from the Palestinians, in the event that efforts to relaunch negotiations with PA President Mahmoud Abbas should fail.
Speaking in an interview with Army Radio on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon, Barak said that such an effort to speak with Abbas must be made.
“I know Abu Mazen [Abbas] and his successors, and I say that we need to try to solve this with them, and if not – to seriously consider the unilateral steps required to create an irrevocable situation of disengagement from the Palestinians,” Barak said.
He said that such a plan would entail “marking a border inside of Israel that includes, of course, the settlement blocs and all of the neighborhoods in Jerusalem, as well as the military presence on the Jordan River in which we have had a Jewish majority for generations, which will answer our security concerns. And alongside this an independent Palestinian state will be established.
”When asked why the withdrawal from Lebanon, which he orchestrated, is seen in a more positive light than the 2005 disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Barak said that, in another 10 years, he believes the Gaza disengagement will also be seen in a more positive light.
The idea of the disengagement from Gaza was right, he maintained, but the execution was flawed. “The handling of the residents was not properly prepared. It was improvised and improper.
Israel could have built them respectable neighborhoods so that we would not have a situation 10 years later in which they are thrown in caravans in Nitzanim.”
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