Ya’alon says pullout from West Bank would strengthen Hamas

(JNS.org) Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon believes that the Israeli military must not surrender its ability to operate freely in the West Bank as it did in Gaza in 2005, which led to Hamas’s takeover.

“We will not hand over our citizens’ security into the hands of any foreign entity,” Ya’alon said in recent private conservations, Walla reported.

Ya’alon added, “If we compromise the IDF’s freedom of action and hand over security responsibilities to the Palestinians, we will see missiles being launched from Nablus onto Kfar Saba and Ben Gurion Airport.”

Ya’alon’s comments come amid U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s most recent visit to the region as part of U.S.-brokered final-status negotiations. The U.S. recently suggested that Israel withdraw troops from the Jordan Valley and replace them with unmanned drones and early warning stations. Palestinians object to any Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, while Israel considers its presence vital to its security. 

Posted on January 5, 2014 .