Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon threatened to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as head of Likud if he makes too many concessions to the Palestinians in the current round of peace talks.
Speaking Thursday in an interview with Army Radio, Danon said that US Secretary of State John Kerry’s yet-to-be publicly released framework agreement can not be accepted by the head of the right-wing faction.
“This framework would mean the abandonment of the Jordan Valley, a return to the 67 lines and the division of Jerusalem,” Danon stated.
“We are a democratic faction and their will be a race for the leadership when we get to that point. However, as someone who knows the hearts of Likud members, we will not support a framework that brings us in line with the positions of [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni.”
Danon’s comments Thursday did not mark the first time that he has threatened Netanyahu, as he has lately clashed with the prime minister over the ongoing diplomatic process.
He threatened Wednesday to leave his post by the end of the month if the fourth round of Palestinian prisoner releases takes place – as planned – on March 28.
Danon sent the threat to Netanyahu and revealed it in a meeting with mothers of terror victims in the Knesset.
“I believe that by working together, we can stop the unnecessary release of terrorists and prevent it,” Danon told the mothers. “There is no reason to release these murderers. If there will be a fourth round, I won’t sit in the government anymore.”
A source in the Prime Minister’s Office told Channel 2 in response that Danon would soon leave office, either because the prisoner release would take place or because he would be fired for insubordination.
The source said Danon’s move was intended to preempt his firing, which he knew was on the way.
“We are sick of him engaging in cheap politics from the Kirya defense compound in Tel Aviv,” the source was quoted as saying.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Deputy-defense-minister-threatens-to-resign-if-government-frees-Palestinian-prisoners-345833