Temple Mt. crisis resurrects two untenable ideas by Prime Minister

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the first time advocated the death sentence for terrorist killers. He spoke during a condolence visit to Halamish where a Palestinian terrorist stabbed to death three members of the Salomon family. While on Israel’s law books, this sentence has never been executed or ruled by an Israeli court. On another occasion, Netanyahu was cited this week as having proposed handing over the Israeli Arab region of Wadi Ara near Haifa to the Palestinian Authority in a land swap for the annexation of a West Bank settlement bloc. The proposal came up in talks some weeks ago with Trump administration emissaries Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. Possible land swaps have often come up in the context of a permanent peace settlement. But Netanyahu’s naming of a specific region for the first time was leaked after the three killers of two Israeli policemen on Temple Mount two weeks ago were hailed as “martyrs to occupied Umm al Fahm” at their funeral. Umm al Fah is located in Wadi Ara. The region’s wholesale transfer to Palestinian rule would be fiercely resisted by the population.

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