Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is invoking the renewed military conflict with Hamas to argue it’s risky to trade more land for peace with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu, speaking as warplanes pounded the Gaza Strip in an attempt to stop rockets attacks, scoffed at an assertion made by White House Mideast coordinator Philip Gordon last week that withdrawing from most of the West Bank would make Israel more secure. “I am not prepared to create another 20 Gazas,” he said, referring to the size of the territory sandwiched between Israel and Jordan.
“Netanyahu doesn’t want to give up territory, although he says he’s willing to make limited withdrawals under terms that he can argue keep Israel secure,” said Shmuel Sandler, a political scientist at Bar-Ilan University near Tel Aviv. “The conflict with Hamas in Gaza gives him more reason to say that the U.S. assurances aren’t good enough to justify pulling back in the West Bank.” Read more.