A former spokesman of the Israel Defence Forces has warned that Donald Trump’s “unlimited” support for Israel will cause “unimaginable harm” to Israel, Arabi21.com reported on Sunday. Brigadier General Avi Benayahu suggested that it could actually “explode” the security situation in the occupied West Bank and Israel, and cause a new intifada (uprising).
“[Trump] is unintentionally holding the flame which could ignite the third intifada and present an unprecedented challenge for Israel,” Benayahu said in an article in the Hebrew daily Maariv. “The unlimited and unreserved support from Trump for Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the announcement of his intention to move the US embassy [to Jerusalem] will fan the flames here.” He claimed that Trump’s choice of an extremist right-wing Zionist as America’s new ambassador in Israel, and another to oversee the peace process, will make matters even worse. It will also encourage the ministers of the current ruling coalition in Israel to promote the idea of annexing the West Bank.
“Trump and his aides will cause unimaginable harm for Israel where they think they will be helping it,” wrote Benayahu. The US president-elect and those whom he has nominated for positions linked to Israel will “liquidate” the remaining hope of young Palestinians. “When the Palestinian youths do not see any chance to end the occupation or reach a reconciliation with Israel, they will reach a point that they do not have anything to lose.” A new intifada, he suggested, might thus be called the “President Intifada” in a clear reference to Trump.
Just one day before Benayahu’s warning, Israeli Channel 2 TV reported that members of parliament from the ruling Likud Party would support the annexation of Area C in the West Bank in response to the recent UN resolution 2334. “The natural response to the resolution,” claimed Education Minister Naftali Bennet, the chairman of the Jewish Home Party, “is only one word: annexation.”
According to Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, any annexation of Palestinian territory “must” be after consultation with Trump. “The 20 January [Trump’s inauguration day] represents a turning point,” he told Yedioth Ahranoth. “Trump will not let anyone touch us and we will not take any measure regarding the West Bank except after cooperating with him.”