Israel Transportation Minister urges Obama to recognize Israeli sovereignty in Golan Heights
YNET – During conference marking 35 year since Menachem Begin declared sovereignty over Golan Heights, Yisrael Katz urges government to bring 100,000 more people to the area, says ‘time has come for the US to recognize that Menachem Begin was right.’
Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) called on the government Wednesday to increase the number of residents in the Golan Heights over the coming years and said that the US needed to be convinced to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the area which was declared under former Prime Minister Menachem Begin’s leadership.
The comments were made at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center during a conference marking 35 years since the passing of a bill to impose Israeli sovereignty on the northern land mass taken in the 1967 Six-Day War.
“We must on the new American administration to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” Katz told his audience.
“The time has come for the US to recognize that Menachem Begin was right and that they have made a mistake (in failing to recognize this),” he said as he cited Begin’s order to obliterate the Iraq’s nuclear reactor as a vindication of Israel’s judgement. “…Just as they recognized in retrospect the correct decision to destroy the Iraq nuclear reactor that was taken and carried out shortly before.”
“This is a moral and security-related step which is required in light of the developments in Syria and the region,” the minister continued.
“The State of Israel must determine a goal of bringing 100,000 residents to the Golan Heights in the coming years.”
Referring to the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt—one of the main hallmarks of Begin’s premiership—Katz said, “Egypt left the cycle of wars against Israel. She is obligated by the peace treaty and serves as a close partner in the security and intelligence fields against Iranian ambitions—Shi’ite on the one hand, and the Sunni-Jihadist terror from organizations such as ISIS and Hamas.”
Katz also praised Begin’s maintenance of Israeli sovereignty over a united Jerusalem as the Jewish capital while simultaneously granting autonomy to the palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip capable of self-policing while providing an impetus to the growth of Jewish settlements.
“The policies for Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria have more validity and are more correct now than ever,” Katz declared.
Touching on the main settlement blocs in the West Bank, he called on Israel to “widen the border borders of Jerusalem and impose Israeli sovereignty on communities in greater Jerusalem such as Ma’ale Adumim, the communities of Gush Etzion, Givat Ze’ev and Beitar Illit, just as Menachem Begin did in the Golan Heights 35 years ago.”
Katz suggested that the most appropriate day to declare sovereignty over the Golan Heights would be the same day on which the US moves its embassy to Jerusalem—a pledge repeatedly made by President-elect Donald Trump during his election campaign.
“We all hope that this will happen soon,” he added before offering his evaluation of the possibile international pressure that could ensue from such a unilateral decision.
“Even if they condemn us or attack us, we will stand by our fundamental principles in the same manner that Menachem Begin did 35 years ago. In the future, we will all understand that we did the right thing.”
He concluded by stating that the idea of establishing an independent Palestinian state in the heart of Jerusalem should be flatly rejected.
“It goes against our historic rights to the Land of Israel and constitutes a serious risk to the future security of Israel. In the age of missiles, with the methods available for producing various types of weapons and attack tunnels, the presence of the IDF on the Jordan border is not enough to prevent surprise attacks or terror.”
Katz dismissed the the idea of a demilitarized Palestinian state—a pre-requisite upon which Prime Minister Netanyahu has insisted as part of any final agreement—as “a magic trick that cannot be implemented.
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