Benjamin Netanyahu, who on Sunday toured the West Bank with John Bolton, said he will listen to US peace proposals – but added that “any future agreement” with Palestine must guarantee an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley.
Footage posted on Sunday showed Israel’s prime minister and the US national security adviser overlooking the Israeli-occupied area from an aircraft and on the ground, with Netanyahu seen giving Bolton an excursion.
Prime Minister @netanyahu toured today the Jordan Valley with US National Security Advisor @AmbJohnBolton. “In any future peace agreement, our position is that Israel’s presence here must continue – for the security of Israel and for the security of all” said the PM. pic.twitter.com/AOBahdvP1X
— Dani Dayan (@AmbDaniDayan) June 23, 2019
Speaking English on camera standing next to Bolton, the PM rammed the message home that Israel will not be leaving the area under any deal, saying it ensures “the minimal strategic depth and strategic height for the defense of our country.”
Netanyahu was also adamant that the Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley “guarantees stability and security for the entire region,” and that the IDF leaving the occupied Palestinian lands would result in “war and terror.”
To those who say that for peace to be established, Israel has to leave the Jordan Valley, I say: That’s not going to bring peace. That’s going to bring war and terror – and we’ve been there. We don’t want to be there again.
Israel will study US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan in “a fair and open manner,” Netanyahu said, a day after White House senior adviser Jared Kushner presented the economic part of the deal.
He made known his bewilderment at the Palestinian reaction to the proposal, saying “I can’t understand how the Palestinians rejected the plan before even hearing what it is in it.”
Bolton appeared to be supportive of Netanyahu’s stance, saying that “it’s too bad… that more Americans can’t come to locations like this, see the geography, understand its significance, understand how it affects Israel’s critical security position, and explain why Israel has taken the view that it has.”
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