|(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and the Israeli-American mapping team, today (Monday, 24 February 2019), toured the overlook near Ariel.
The Israeli-American team on mapping Judea and Samaria ahead of the application of sovereignty convened for the first time today, in Ariel.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s remarks during the tour:
“The joint mapping process of the Israeli team and the American team is underway here in Ariel. This is a major mission. The area has an 800-kilometer perimeter. There is serious work, but we will work as quickly as possible to get it done. The Israeli team includes Minister Levin and Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Acting Director General Ronen Peretz, as well as National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat.
“The mapping is underway in order to allow for the application of Israeli law on these areas and later American recognition as well. I want to commend Ambassador Friedman and his aide who are here together with mapping experts from the US.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu added:
“The process will be completed as quickly as possible. We will do this as rapidly as possible; there is no artificial impediment. For the mapping process, one must consider every valley, every section, every nook and every line; this is serious. We are determining here lines that have historic implications. Therefore, the work will be done as quickly as possible, and we will not stop for anything.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu on the security situation:
“Last night, we attacked in both Gaza and Syria. I do not intend to let up. On the way here, I spoke with the security elements. As you can imagine, we will be in action today as well. Beyond the severe blows that we are inflicting on our enemies, Hamas and Islamic Jihad need to understand – it will not continue this way. If they do not stop firing completely, and I do not mean for a day or two, but in general, if there will not be a complete halt, we will be obliged to activate the plan for an extensive campaign that we have prepared.
“These are not mere words. They contain new and surprising things that were not in Operation Cast Lead, Operation Pillar of Defense or Operation Defensive Shield, and whoever is in the Security Cabinet knows exactly what we are talking about. The campaign could be a war; it is the last option. I am not rushing to go there. I know the cost our soldiers pay and the families of the fallen. This is the last option, but if there is no choice, we will go there. Woe to Hamas and Islamic Jihad if they reach that day. The choice is theirs. We will do what is necessary in order to restore complete security to the residents of the south.”
Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, PMO Acting Director General Ronen Peretz, Ambassador Friedman’s adviser Aryeh Lightstone and US National Security Council Director for Israeli-Palestinian affairs Scott Leith attended the meeting of the Israeli-American team.