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Ya’alon: We Want the Palestinians to Act as a Responsible Neighbor

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Ya’alon: We Want the Palestinians to Act as a Responsible Neighbor – Mazal Mualem (Al-Monitor)

(dailyalert.org, Jan. 14, 2015)

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said in an interview: “What currently exists between Hamas and us is a balance of deterrence….It will take them a long time to rebuild Gaza and be able to engage in military terrorism again. I hope they learned their lesson, because the blow that Hamas incurred is unlike anything that ever happened to them in the past. Some 30,000 buildings collapsed. Don’t people understand what that means? Hamas was armed with 10,000 rockets, and now they have just one-fifth of that.”

“For the past six years, we…have been saying clearly that we do not want to rule over [the Palestinians]….I would like to see them living in economic comfort and security, in a governable structure. I want them as a responsible neighbor. I can live with that. All I want is for them not to bother me….Over the past six years we have reached out to [Mahmoud Abbas] several times, but our reached-out hands remained hanging in the air.”

“We are being threatened with a diplomatic tsunami, but that is an exaggeration. What kind of isolation are they talking about? We have excellent security relationships with various countries in Europe, Asia, and other places, which are interested in having relations with us.”

“One thing that has become accepted around the world is that there is no peace because of the settlements. I ask, if there is a desire for peace and coexistence, why must people be uprooted from their homes and transferred? I do not deny the rights of Arabs to live anywhere in the State of Israel, so why are there areas which are off-limits to Jews? Why is that acceptable? When Abbas says that he wants to receive territories clean of Jews – that is ethnic cleansing. It is even racist.”

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