PM addresses Israel’s security needs in West Bank; Netanyahu: Our presence here also guarantees stability and security for the entire region. Peace to Prosperity workshop to launch on Tuesday; Trump Administration releases document on initial phases of economic plan for Palestinian reform.
Prime Minister Netanyahu led a tour of the Jordan Valley with US National Security Adviser John Bolton and American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on Sunday. He addressed Israel’s security in light of President Trump’s “Deal of the Century” that will launch in Bahrain on Tuesday.
The Trump Administration released a 40-page document on its strategy and economic reform for the Palestinians on Sunday ahead of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop. The document proposes the investment of over $50 billion and would provide thousands of jobs for Palestinians amidst its ongoing financial crisis. Arab leadership will discuss the proposed plan at the workshop without the Palestinian Authority (PA) as it continues its boycott of the Trump Administration.
Touching on Israel’s security needs in the Jordan Valley, which makes up around 30% of the West Bank, Netanyahu stated to Bolton “as you can see, the Jordan Valley offers Israel the minimal strategic depth and strategic height for the defense of our country. Our presence here also guarantees stability and security for the entire region. For those who say that for peace to be established Israel has to leave the Jordan Valley, I’ll say that’s not going to bring peace, that’s going to bring war and terror. We’ve been there, and we don’t want to be there again.” He added, “under any peace agreement, our position will be that Israel’s presence should continue here for Israel’s security and for the security of all.”
On President Trump’s proposed peace plan, he stated, “In general, I would say that we’ll hear the American proposition, hear it fairly and with openness. I cannot understand how the Palestinians, before they even heard the plan, rejected it outright. That’s not the way to proceed. We believe that peace is coupled and dependent on security. Our presence here guarantees security and therefore guarantees peace.”
Bolton responded to Netanyahu’s remarks, stating “without security, there is… no long-lasting peace,” assuring Israel that “President Trump will take the concerns that you have voiced so clearly over the years very much into account as we go forward on this.”
The Palestinians continue their unilateral efforts to gain state recognition while demonizing the State of Israel. They have been in talks with global leadership to replace President Trump’s peace mediating efforts. Despite support for President Trump’s efforts from several Arab states and Israel, the PA continues to boycott and gain recognition from international bodies and institutions. Most recently, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) signed an agreement recognizing the “State of Palestine.” The PA and IAEA agreement will permit it to inspect any Palestinian atomic energy research or sites, as well as radioactive materials.
The PA began its boycott of the Trump Administration after it recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital and relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv.