The Defense Minister announced a series of steps to forge a direct line of communication with the Palestinian population, in what Lieberman called a path meant to “bypass” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose rejected every opportunity for peace, and refuses to end inciting propaganda that maintains the conflict.
Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman met Wednesday with top officers in the IDF General Staff in Tel Aviv and presented them with the principles of his plan to fight terrorism across Judea and Samaria.
Dubbing the measures “carrots, sticks and strikes,” Lieberman said he plans to pursue measures that would undercut Palestinians involved in terrorist activity while offering benefits to those who reject terrorism.
“The Palestinians have to understand that those willing to pursue coexistence will benefit, and those who take part in terrorist attacks will only lose,” Lieberman said.
The cost of the plan is estimated at 400 million shekels ($105 million).
Lieberman presented the General Staff with a map dividing Judea and Samaria into “hot zones”: Areas known as hotbeds of terrorism were marked in red or yellow, while areas where terrorist activity is minimal or nonexistent were colored in shades of green.
According to Lieberman’s plan, “green” Palestinian communities will receive incentives in the form of improved residential infrastructure, increases in the number of work permits for residents, upgrades to checkpoints, and the promotion of zoning and building plans.
Palestinian towns that are “red” and “yellow,” however, would see an increase in the number of military raids, the razing of terrorists’ homes, more frequent vehicles searches, the seizing of assets used to fund terrorist activity, and increased enforcement against incitement.
Known “red” Palestinian communities are located in the greater Hebron area, the towns surrounding Bethlehem, and the Dheisheh and Qalandiya refugee camps.
The defense minister also announced a series of steps to forge a direct line of communication with the Palestinian population, in what Lieberman called a path meant to “bypass” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“We have to eliminate the need for mediators when addressing those who truly seek to pursue coexistence,” Lieberman said.
“Just as Abbas holds a direct dialogue with the Israeli public, I want to hold a direct dialogue with the Palestinian public. Abbas is an obstacle, and he refuses to reach a [peace] deal. I want to talk with those who do want a deal, to talk about social and economic issues. We have to live with each other, so we have to find a way to talk.”
To achieve this, the defense establishment has compiled a list of prominent Palestinian academics, businessmen, and economists who are not affiliated with the Palestinian Authority or Hamas, Lieberman said.
As part of the effort to reach the Palestinian public directly, the Defense Ministry plans to launch a new Arabic-language website, to be managed by the Office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
Lieberman said he would like to see the website’s traffic reach 400,000 unique users per day.
Also on Wednesday, Lieberman addressed Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit’s objections to his decision not to return the bodies of terrorists killed by Israeli security forces, saying, “This is my position on the matter and if need be I’ll defend it before the High Court of Justice.”
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