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Gantz: Israel settlement of ‘strategic, security and spiritual’ value

Benny Gantz, former Israeli military chief of staff in Tel Aviv on 29 January 2019 [Amir Levy/Getty Images]
Benny Gantz, former Israeli military chief of staff in Tel Aviv on 4 February 2019 [Twitter]

Electoral challenger Benny Gantz has praised Israel’s illegal settlements as of being of strategic, security and spiritual value.

Head of the Israel Resilience (Hosen L’Yisrael) party Benny Gantz – who is running in the upcoming Israeli general election on 9 April – praised an illegal Israeli settlement bloc in the occupied West Bank during a visit to a primary school there on Monday, Arab 48 reported.

Visiting the Kfar Etzion Field School in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc, south of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, Gantz wrote in the school’s visitor book: “The [settlement] bloc was a strategic and spiritual settlement asset and will remain so forever.”

He continued by writing that “we [Israel] will strengthen the settlement blocs and the [occupied Syrian] Golan Heights, from which we will never retreat,” adding: “The Jordan Valley will remain our eastern security border. He concluded:

We will maintain security in the entire Land of Israel, but we will not allow the millions of Palestinians living beyond the separation fence to endanger our security and our identity as a Jewish state.

Leader of left-wing Israeli political party Meretz, Tamar Zandberg, criticised Gantz for his visit to the illegal settlement.

“When there is no Right and no Left, it is the Right that dictates the tone,” the Jerusalem Post reported Zandberg saying. She added: “Israel’s top strategic asset is not settlements, but achieving a peace agreement. Those who want to reach an agreement in which Israel keeps the blocs, must speak clearly about evacuating settlements instead of offering empty slogans.”

READ: Israel’s Gantz slams Netanyahu, unveils hawkish foreign policy

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