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October 1998 
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EXPAND JEWISH HEBRON SAYS ARENS

MER - Washington - 25 Oct:

The man who brought Bibi Netanyahu into politics and positioned him to take over the Likud Party is the former Defense Minister of Israel, Moshe Arens. Speaking in the days leading up to the recent "Oslo III" addendum to previous agreements, here is what Arens had to say, interviewed by the right-wing news organization "Arutz-7". And it is likely in fact that the Netanyahu/Sharon government will in the weeks and months ahead expand Jewish settlement in Hebron and in other key areas throughout the occupied territories. Meanwhile, more American funds for "by-pass" roads and still ongoing Israeli efforts to consolidate their actual hold over all the territory west of the Jordan river will be flowing even more freely than ever before -- another result of the latest Arafat agreement. For always remember: the Israelis are not actually seeding land to the Palestinians. They are instead "redeploying", turning over Palestinian population centers to "autonomous" Palestinian control, and surrouding all Palestinian autonomy areas with the "redeployed" Israeli miltary and the still-growing network of settlements and "by-pass roads". Indeed, the most glaring absence from the latest Wye River memorandum is any prohibition on Israeli settlement expansion throughout the occupied territories, and especially in the fast-expanding Jerusalem area. And that is no accident.

ARENS: PM SHOULD FIRST LOOK AT HEVRON AGREEMENT'S MISTAKES

Moshe Arens, former Defense Minister, said today that he advised PrimeMinister Netanyahu to look at the Hevron Accords and their consequencesbefore signing another withdrawal agreement with the PLO. Speaking with Arutz-7 today, Arens said, "The Hevron agreement was definitely a mistake. Instead of being a milestone on the road to peace, it has become a millstone around the neck of the peace process. The lives of the Jewish residents there are endangered every week, if not every day." When asked if he is against the scheduled 13% withdrawal, Arens said, "It depends where. I am totally against a withdrawal from the Judean Desert. Even if they give it a new status of 'nature reserve,' this means nothing; it will be the first step towards our losing control over the all-important Judean Desert, and Gush Etzion and nearby areas will find themselves in real danger. I am not against a withdrawal from densely-populated Arab areas that will sooner or later come under Palestinian control."

Regarding Hevron, however, Arens said, "I am in favor of expanding theJewish presence in Hevron, if only to rectify the injustice caused in 1929 when the Arabs slaughtered the Jews and ended the Jewish presence there. The Arabs should learn that they cannot liquidate Jewish presence by force." Arens said that we must build in Hevron despite the Palestinian threats: "We must simply do what is right."

When asked whether Netanyahu, whom Arens originally brought into politics, had changed his ideology over the years, Arens said, "Everyone changes over the years, and he has developed, and maybe changed to some extent since then. His great achievement is that he defeated Shimon Peres in the previous election." "Maybe his only achievement?" asked Arutz-7's Haggai Segal. "No, I wouldn't say that," responded Arens. "That was an achievement that is not to be sneezed at."


 

 

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