Separate But Equal? Israeli Defense Minister Repeats Demand For Subservient Palestinian ‘Entity’
The refusal by Benny Gantz to concede the possibility of a Palestinian state comes amid mounting anger over the Israeli siege of historic Al Aqsa mosque.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz once again rejected Palestinians’ aspirations for national sovereignty Friday, saying in an interview with the podcast of Israeli outlet Walla that he sees “the need for a reality of two political entities,” claiming such a step is necessary “so that the State of Israel has a security superiority in the entire region,” per Arab 48.
Gantz went on to call for a “separation” between the Jewish population and Christian and Muslim Palestinians that is “political, not geographic” and said that rather than "ruling the Palestinians,” Israelis wanted to “concentrate on” being “a democracy–a safe and solely Jewish state.” Under such a system, Middle East Monitor reported, Gantz claimed ‘Palestinian geographical integrity’ would ‘only be based on a transportation system that facilitates it.’
Gantz’s remarks largely escape scrutiny as they came amind the armed incursion by Israeli security forces on the historic Al Aqsa mosque which left hundreds of Palestinian worshippers injured and arrested Friday. However, the Defense Minister’s rejection of Palestinian statehood is likely to only add to simmering tensions that analysts warn are in danger of reaching a boiling point amid the IDF raid on the world’s second oldest mosque.
13 April, 05:44 GMT
But it’s not the first time Gantz has suggested any possible Palestinian “entity” would be dependent on Irsael for security guarantees. In February, Gantz explained why he’d adopted the phrase “two-entity solution” in place of “two-state solution”.
"Two-state solution takes us to a former framework. It's a phrase that gives the illusion of [a return to] 1967 with the borderlines,” an eventuality which Gantz insisted “cannot happen."
The repeated rejection of Palestinian statehood by the Israeli Defense Minister is likely to only strengthen calls from more militant factions among the Palestinians, many of whom have long viewed a two-state solution as an increasingly remote possbility and are likely to see such developments as further evidence that Palestinian statehood can only come at the expense of seemingly-ceaseless territorial ambitions of Israeli settlers.
Adding fuel to the fire, Gantz has also suggested that in the political process, Mahmoud Abbas, "the one who heads the Palestinian Authority, is the partner,” and threatened that “whoever tries to fight the State of Israel will receive heavy blows from me."