Yesha Council: No PA State, Even at the Price of Sovereignty

YERUSHALAYIM -
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A view of neighborhoods in Maale Adumim, near Yerushalayim. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

Amid reports that the U.S. “deal of the century” peace plan calls for establishment of a Palestinian state, the Yesha Council said Tuesday that if this were to happen, it would reject the plan altogether.

The comment came after leaders of the council, who accompanied Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on his trip to Washington, conferred with American officials early Tuesday.

In a statement, Yesha Council head David Elchayani said that members of the delegation “are very concerned. We cannot accept a plan that entails establishment of a Palestinian state that will be a danger and threat to Israel. We declare that we will not allow establishment of such a state, even if it comes at the cost of losing out on sovereignty in Yehudah, Shomron and the Jordan Valley. We demand that the prime minister and MKs not accept this deal as it stands.”

Until U.S. President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” peace plan is released at 7:00 p.m. Israel time (noon Washington time), speculation is rife on what those details are, with Israeli media outlets reporting that Israel will have the opportunity to annex areas of Yehudah and Shomron.

On Tuesday, the Al-Arabiya channel reported that the plan also calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state – a detail that had been missing in many of the Israeli reports.

Kan News reported that Netanyahu has been discussing the matter with the Yesha Council officials, reassuring them that the declaration that a Palestinian state will be created will have little effect on the situation in Yehudah and Shomron. “It’s not as bad as it sounds,” Netanyahu told the leaders, because it it will only be valid if the PA recognizes Israel as a Jewish state – a highly unlikely development.

The PA has ruled out any acceptance of the plan, with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas insulting Trump at a meeting Monday, and declared that he would “not go down in history as the one who sold out his homeland.”

PA sources quoted by Channel 12 said that it was not plan that bothered Abbas, but the likely result. “Plans come and go, we have seen them from every president and none have worked,” the sources said. “The difference in this plan is that it apparently gives Israel the ability to annex areas, and that will be something impossible to change or negotiate in the future.”