Deal of the Century a ‘Significant Milestone’, Israel’s New FM Declares

Israel's new Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazy. Photo by MFA on 18 May, 2020

President Donald Trump’s peace plan is “a significant milestone” and will be promoted “responsibly” and in coordination with the US while “maintaining Israel’s peace accords and strategic interests,” Israel’s new Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi stated.

Ashkenazi made the statements during a ceremony on Monday held with outgoing Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz at the Ministry, attended by the office’s executive director and members of the ministry.

Ashkenazi, a former IDF chief of staff, noted that Israel is “facing significant regional opportunities, first and foremost, President Trump’s peace initiative. I view the plan as a significant milestone.”

The plan “presents a historic opportunity for us to shape the future of the State of Israel for decades to come,” he posited, and therefore will “be promoted responsibly and in coordination with the US while maintaining the peace agreements and strategic interests of the State of Israel.”

The Deal of the Century peace plan, officially titled “Vision for Peace, Prosperity, and a Brighter Future,” calls for the Israeli annexation of some 30% of the territory in Judea and Samaria already under its control, with the remaining 70% becoming a Palestinian state.

Likewise, some outlying neighborhoods in Jerusalem will be turned over to the Arabs and become the capital of Palestine.

Israel will receive American recognition of its application of Israeli law in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, thus establishing its eastern border.

Likewise, Israel will receive American recognition for its application of Israeli law in Judea and Samaria on all existing Israel communities. Not one Israeli will be removed from his home in favor of a diplomatic solution.

The Palestinian Authority will eventually be able to evolve into a state after meeting several requirements such as recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, ending its state-promoted anti-Semitism and disarming Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The coalition agreement between Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud and the Blue and White party, of which Ashkenazi is a member, stipulates that Israel can commence with moves to declare sovereignty in Judea and Samaria in July.

However, Blue and White are hesitant about the entire process, the US appears to be shying away from its initial enthusiasm, Jordan has threatened Israel with severe action if it annexes the Jordan Valley, and the right in Israel is fearful of the merging Palestinian state.

Ashkenazi further thanked the US for “its firm standing with Israel” in curbing the Iranian nuclear project and its military buildup on Israel’s borders.

“The diplomatic campaign to stop the Iranian threat has been and still is our main mission. Of course, we must continue to use all the tools available to us on the diplomatic plane alongside the security activity,” he stated.

Speaking about regional peace, Ashkenazi stated that “like military power, peace with our neighbors is also a strategic asset and we must maintain it” and that he views “with great importance the strengthening of strategic ties with the peace states, Egypt and Jordan.”

Finally, he vowed to “work to promote contacts and cooperation with other countries in the region, in order to strengthen the strategic position of the State of Israel.”

Israel reportedly maintains covert ties with several Sunni states in the Middle East who share Israel’s apprehension about Iran’s military might and regional belligerence.


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