Tuesday, April 28
Latest News
  1. Kerry: US defense commitment to Japan 'ironclad', includes Senkakus
  2. Kerry unveils $10 mln in Nepal quake aid
  3. Government: Nepal quake death toll passes 4,000
  4. Bahrain again extends top rights activist's detention
  5. Kerry to meet Iran FM Zarif on Monday
  6. Dozens of Iraqi police killed during fierce clashes in Ramadi
  7. First Saudi National Guards reach Yemen border zone
  8. Israel charges soldiers over looting during Gaza war
  9. Israel invites bids for 77 East Jerusalem settler homes
  10. Deutsche Bank Q1 profits fall 50% over $2.5 bn rate fixing fine
  11. Witnesses: 2 protestors shot dead in Burundi capital
  12. Small groups of protestors, police clash in Burundi capital
  13. Clashes rage in Yemen as calls for peace talks grow
  14. EU AgenPolice arrest 26 across Europe in horsemeat scandal
  15. US: Russia failing to fully implement Ukraine ceasefire
  16. Kerry urges Yemen rebels and their allies to enter talks
  17. Ex-Yemen leader urges rebel allies to heed UN, pull back
  18. Iraq lacks DNA results to test body of 'Saddam deputy'
  19. Family: Syria's sacked political spy chief dead
  20. Officials: 14 Somali, Afghan immigrants killed by train in Macedonia

Former Mossad chief: Jordan Valley not vital to Israel's security

Jan. 5, 2014 11:06 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 6, 2014 10:08 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Jordan Valley is not "essential" for Israel's security, a former director of Israel's spy agency Mossad said on Friday.

Meir Dagan told a crowd of Israelis in Kfar Saba in central Israel on Friday that the issue of the Jordan Valley is a purely political issue, according to the Hebrew language daily newspaper Maariv.

"I don't like the ongoing argument about the Jordan Valley as an essential element to the security of Israel. This is manipulation and utilization of security considerations," he is reported to have said.

There is no Iraqi army, and we have a peace agreement with Jordan, so there is no threat on the eastern front, Dagan added.

Dagan highlighted that he was giving his personal opinion which he could not "prove definitively."

During the speech, Dagan also said that he believes Israel is not interested in toppling Hamas.

"I don't have a proof to what I will say now, but I have an impression that Israel is not interested in ousting Hamas, for a simple reason: I see that Egypt is exerting serious efforts to weaken Hamas, and I see that Gulf countries and Saudis are also exerting such efforts, while the state of Israel isn't taking part in such efforts."

"If I would talk about suspicions, I will say that someone could have in mind to avoid signing an agreement at the last moment. They will say, wait a minute! Who am I signing with? Am I signing agreement with (Palestinian Authority president) Abu Mazen? But he has an entity called Hamas, and with Hamas I can't sign!"

The statements come amid intense political negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority regarding the Jordan Valley.

Although the valley is a large part of the occupied West Bank, Israel has insisted that even if the Palestinians are granted independence as part of a future peace agreement, it plans to maintain a military presence.

Earlier this week, a parliamentary committee Israeli legislators voted to back a bill to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. Although unlikely to pass, the support for the symbolic move towards annexation reflects opposition towards peace negotiations with Palestinians.

The majority of the Jordan Valley is currently under full Israeli military control, despite being within the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015