Netanyahu Election Rival Suggests West Bank Settlements Could Be Dismantled

Netanyahu's Main Electoral Rival Calls for Abandoning Control Over Palestinians

Netanyahu's Main Electoral Rival Calls for Abandoning Control Over Palestinians

Gantz responded that "it was a legal action; it was approved by the government of Israel and carried out by the IDF and the settlers, with great pain but done very well". The comments are being construed as evidence of a willingness on Gantz's part to uproot Jewish communities from the West Bank in the event of a future peace deal with the Palestinians.

Likud pledges to maintain the country's military presence and expand the Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Although he did not say so in the interview, Gantz could support a withdrawal from wildcat outposts that are not approved by the Israeli authorities. The proposed handover to Abbas' regime of security control over the entire West Bank-which by most accounts would necessitate removing tens of thousands of Israelis living therein-is even more divisive, with many arguing this would result in a Hamas takeover of areas adjacent to critical Israeli infrastructure and major population centers.

All Israeli settlements are considered illegal under worldwide law but Israel draws a distinction between those it sanctions and those it does not.

Gantz also expressed a belief that he had all the chances to win the April 9 election.

The announcement came after a complaint by the opposition Labour party against Netanyahu's Likud party over images of Netanyahu accompanied by troops.

In an abridged version of the interview published by Ynet and conducted by famed Israeli singer-songwriter Shlomot Artzi and comedian Hanoch Daum, Gantz added that "we have to take its lessons and implement them in other places", suggesting that he would implement additional forcible evictions of Jews under his leadership.

Thousands Protest in Madrid Against Spanish PM's Catalonia Proposal
Sanchez inherited the Catalan crisis from former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, the then-leader of the Popular Party. Elena Navarro, who attended the anti-Sanchez rally in Madrid with her teenaged son, said Sanchez was "a traitor".

"It's encouraging, if he succeeds and he sticks to this opinion", Abu Rudeineh told Reuters.

"Statements about the fact that Abu Mazen gave his blessing to Gantz never happened and never existed", the PA statement said.

"We don't know him yet, we heard about him".

However, the report noted, "like other recent surveys, Wednesday's still predicted that Likud would remain the ruling party if elections were held today, winning 32 seats regardless of whether Ashkenazi joins Gantz".

Mr Gantz's party later put out a clarification saying "no unilateral decisions will be made on settlement evacuation".

However, Yesh Atid sources are now denying that Lapid would be drawn into a joint campaign, insisting that he represents the only alternative to replace Netanyahu as prime minister.

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