Knesset members urge prime minister not to give land to Palestinians

A group of 16 members of Knesset in Israel’s governing coalition, many from the Likud bloc, urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to give up territory to the Palestinians.

In a letter sent to the prime minister during his Sept. 15 meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, the MKs called on Netanyahu “not to return to the Oslo accord template or cede any more parts of the homeland to the Palestinian Authority.”

The letter was drafted by MKs Yariv Levin (Likud-Beiteinu), chairman of the governing coalition, and Orit Struck (Habayit Hayehudi). It also was signed by deputy ministers Zeev Elkin, Tzipi Hotovely, Ofir Akunis, Eli Ben-Dahan and Avraham Wortzman.

“I will remain coalition chairman so long as we go down the right path of construction and settling throughout all of Israel,” Levin said, according to the daily Israel Hayom.

Meanwhile, Energy and Water Resources Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud-Beiteinu) said Sept. 15 that “no one believes a permanent agreement can be reached in nine months,” the timetable the U.S. has set for the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations. —