Defense Minister Benny Gantz , left (AP/Andrew Harnik, File) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas (AP/Seth Wenig) (AP/Andrew Harnik, File; AP/Seth Wenig)
Gantz and Abbas

Do more parts of the Land of Israel have to be given to the Palestinians, every time Uncle Sam visits, wondered the Ad Kan organization.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

Several Israeli leaders have sounded the alarm following a series of “trust-building” gestures toward the Palestinian Authority (PA) that Defense Minister Benny Gantz approved, ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel this week.

Major General Ghassan Alian, commander of the IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), announced the gestures on Monday, which were approved by Gantz following a security assessment, and after Gantz’s meeting with Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas last week.

The measures include approval of the registration of 5,500 stateless persons in the Palestinian Population Registry, in addition to the 12,000 already approved, the approval of six outline construction plans for Arabs in Judea and Samaria, increasing the quota of workers from the Gaza Strip who are allowed to enter for work and trade in Israel by an additional 1,500 to 15,500.

Finally, the Salem crossing in northern Samaria will be opened, for the purpose of the entry of Israeli Arabs into the city of Jenin, under PA control.

In response, the heads of the Israel Lobby in the Knesset, Members of Knesset Yoav Kish and Orit Stroock, stated that the “trust-building measures” of the Lapid-Bennett government “are destructive measures towards the electorate in Israel.”

“While right-wing government-elected ministers are busy saving the remnants of their political careers, they are falling asleep in keeping the little they have promised the public: a political status quo government,” they said.

“Every Palestinian outpost that is whitewashed, and every Israeli housing unit that is frozen, are a stain of disgrace on the foreheads of these ministers, who prefer to engage in themselves instead of standing as a wall in the face of Lapid’s Oslo trends,” they said.

The Megiddo Regional Council stated that it “strongly opposes” the opening of the Salem Crossing to Jenin as the access road to and from it “is dilapidated, destroyed and poses a danger” to the Israeli residents of the nearby Givat Oz.

“This is a bloody road and we will not allow it to open just to make a gesture to President Biden. This is first-rate irresponsibility and lawlessness towards the residents of Givat Oz and the Arabs of Israel who will drive on the dangerous road,” they warned.

They called on the Israeli government “not to abandon the lives of Israelis who will travel on it. We will not allow gestures to Americans and Palestinians at the expense of Givat Oz residents.”

‘Not Yet Been Freed from the Complexes of Exile’

The Ad Kan organization, which is engaged in the war against the PA’s takeover of Area C, called on the right-wing members of the government “to stop promoting the establishment of a Palestinian state. Not every time Uncle Sam comes from America, more parts of the Land of Israel have to be given to the Palestinians.”

Matan Peleg, chairman of the Im Tirzu Zionist organization, stated that the Israeli government is “acting as if the only way to act on the international level is to please the ‘Polish landowner.’ Those who have not yet been freed from the complexes of exile are invited to resign and not represent the Jewish people with its national pride.”

Gush Etzion Regional Council Head Shlomo Ne’eman said that Gantz is approving three construction plans for Arabs in Gush Etzion, “during a year in which we barely saw any permits issued for Jewish construction. This is a disparaging farewell gift to Gush Etzion from the Bennett-Lapid government.”

Ne’eman warned that these plans “give the PA the green light to transfer Arab residents who live in Areas A and B to Area C – under full Israeli control, in order to take over strategic swathes of land.”

“This transfer de-facto puts Area C under the control of the PA. These are very serious steps from a national perspective and a Zionist one. The Defense Minister is actually giving new hope towards the establishment of a PA state.”

“If the State of Israel has to pay such a steep price to welcome President Joe Biden, who needs a guest like this?” asked Ne’eman.