Barak: Pulling Out of West Bank an Option

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday that Israel should consider unilateral moves if negations with the Palestinians fail to bear fruit.

“We are a coalition of 94 MKs, this is the time to lead a diplomatic process,” Barak said Wednesday morning in a speech at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. “But if it isn’t possible to reach a permanent agreement with the Palestinians, we must consider an interim arrangement or even a unilateral move.”

“We are on borrowed time. We will reach a wall, and we’ll pay the price. People who are now in a coma will then ask how we didn’t see [this coming],” he added.

Turning to Iran’s nuclear program, Barak said, “It’s impossible to sleep soundly while the Iranians are moving systematically toward a point where Israel won’t be able to do anything… The Iranians are saying to themselves: ‘We’ve waited 4,000 years for a nuclear capability, so we’ll wait another few weeks, and we won’t do anything that would provoke an Israeli or American operation’.”

Barak rejected criticism that the Israeli leadership wanted war, but said Israeli could not close its eyes and wait for the Iranians to attain nuclear capability. “The difficulty of the international community in taking action, even in a clear case like Syria, must tell us something about other areas as well,” he said.

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Barak: Pulling Out of West Bank an Option

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