At a Cabinet meeting earlier this week, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott called for Israel to improve the economic lives of Arabs in Yehudah and Shomron – lest a major round of violence break out, as Arabs riot and turn to terror.
Eisenkott added that the steps the Americans have taken in recent weeks to cut off funding to the Palestinian Authority in order to dry up its resources – so that it will be unable to fund terror activities – has not been “helpful.”
A report on Hadashot News unveiled the details of the meeting, in which Eisenkott said that as things stand now, there is a 60- to 80-percent chance for a major upswing in terror. Part of the blame for that would go to the defunding of UNWRA, Arab hospitals in Yerushalayim, and programs for Arab youth in Palestinian Authority – all steps undertaken by the United States in recent weeks. These steps “have not been serving Israel’s interests,” and would lead to a more restive population that could explode in the course of time.
To alleviate this, Israel needs to implement a program to make up for the financial crisis imposed by the U.S. steps, and work to improve the economic situation in Judea and Samaria, Eisenkott said, adding that “Israel’s interest is in having a stable Palestinian Authority.”
Commenting on the report, MK Moti Yogev (Jewish Home) slammed Eisenkott and other member of the General Staff in whose name he spoke, saying that he had no business getting involved in politics. “We must not be confused – the PA is the same as the PLO. This is an organization that educates its children, in its official educational in institutions, to kill Jews and destroy Israel. PA Chief Mahmoud Abbas is a terrorist in a suit, and the PLO, of which he is chairman as well, is a terror organization. Unfortunately, what the Americans and the large majority of Israelis understand is not understood by the elites of our military. What needs to be funded in Yehudah and Shomron is Jewish settlement, and the PA should be weakened and its responsibilities, and to fight terror until it is eliminated,” Yogev added.