(Erez Harodi/Osim Tzilum)
Moshe Yaalon


Hamas supporters march in Gaza. (Emad Nassar/Flash90)

Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon predicts a bleak future for Israel’s security challenges and said that a resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians was not likely to happen in the foreseeable future.

Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon stated Tuesday that he does not see a resolution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians in the foreseeable future.

In his keynote address, given at a session entitled “Israel’s National Security,” at the 2015 IDC Herzliya Conference, Ya’alon, analyzed and discussed the geopolitical situation in the Middle East, and Israel’s place in it.

In his discussion of the diplomatic process with the Palestinians, Ya’alon said that “he does not expect a peace agreement in his lifetime“, because of the Palestinians persistent refusal to negotiate.

The defense minister stated that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a source of stability in the region, and not the other way around. “Are the turmoil in Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon or Yemen related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in any sort of way? The answer is: no. Finally, there is stability here that is not based on a status quo, but on attempts to advance on many issues: governance, responsibility, law and order, as well as security coordination.”

He explained his vision for the near future, saying “We have a stable situation here… should we destabilize it because of wishful thinking? We should thrive for steps that will allow both sides to live in welfare and security, without illusions. We need to create a modus vivendi for both sides with no external imposed short cuts.”

Ya’alon also commented on Gaza and underscored its sole dependence on Israel. “Gaza is dependent today on Israel, including human travel. The Raffah passing[ into Egypt]  is closed. Israel is Gaza’s only way out. Since Operation Protective Edge, over 700 trucks from Israel unload goods for Gaza, providing all their needs, including what is required to rehabilitate the Gaza strip.”

Iran – The Middle East Destabilizer

Ya’alon asserted that Tehran’s policies were the primary destabilizing force in the volatile Middle East.

“When looking at the region in an overview, the Iranian region is the factor that is striving the most for hegemony. They are the ones preventing stability in Iraq, the Iraqi Prime Minister, who is a puppet of Iran. In Syria, it is not Assad who governs and leads, but the Iranian Revolutionary Guards”, he said.

Regarding the Iranian nuclear agreement, Ya’alon expressed his concern about the lack of discussion on the issue of Iran’s missiles and conventional weapons build-up. “It is clear that the missiles built by Iran in the 1990’s were originally designed to carry nuclear warheads, violating international treaties. They cover all of Israel, most of Europe, and Iran is in the process of developing missiles that can reach the eastern coast of the United States.”

He added that “Iran’s activity as a rouge regime was never discussed in the negotiations. The Iranians are acting in Yemen in order to overthrow a regime allied with the West.”

Ya’alon also discussed the broader implications of the Iranian nuclear agreement, discussing the effects of the planned removal of sanctions, that will ultimately fuel global terror activity. “The incoming money to Iran will make it easier to fund Hezbollah, the Houthis, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. The Middle East will pose a greater challenge to the west as well as to Israel. We have to prepare for that, and we do.”

Regarding the civil war in Syria, Ya’alon said that Israeli policy is not to intervene in Syria, “even though we have thoughts on the issue.”

“We have a clear policy of protecting out interests. Everyone around us knows our red lines and respect it based on determination.” Ya’alon has in the past related to Israel’s “red-lines,” which were its refusal to allow Hezbollah to arm itself with advanced weapons. Israel has reportedly acted on these “red lines” and has attacked weapons transports in route for the Hezbollah.

By: United with Israel Staff

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