Activists from Peace Now and the Black Flag movement conducted separate protests outside the home of Israel Resilience party head Benny Gantz on Friday, April 3, calling on him to block efforts by the far-right Netanyahu government he’s slated to join to annex all Jewish settlements and the Jordan Valley in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
The demonstrations were held despite Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov’s order from Wednesday, April 1, that limits the size of demonstrations to a maximum of 10 people. The order, challenged by civil rights groups, modifies regulations approved by the cabinet, which set no limit on the size of demonstrations.
Independently, the Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS) movement published a statement in Friday, April 3’s edition of Haaretz signed by 220 former senior security chiefs, calling on Gantz and his deputy Gabi Ashkenazi to block annexation efforts. CIS is a non-partisan movement of former, senior security officials (from the Military, Mossad, Shin Bet and Police) that aims to promote a regional political-security initiative to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and normalize relations with moderate Arab states.
CIS’s statement declares that “The agreement with the Palestinians will be based on the principle of two states for two peoples and the 1967 line with arrangements and adjustments as dictated by Israel’s security and demographic needs.” In addition the commanders wrote, “Realities in the Middle East make it necessary, and the Arab Peace Initiative makes it possible to achieve a combined agreement – with the Arab States and the Palestinians – that significantly enhances Israel’s national security interests.” The newspaper ad notes that “293 retired senior officials of Israel’s security agencies are members of the organization. Together, we represent more than 9,000 years of security experience and service for the State within the ranks of the IDF, Mossad, Shin-Bet and the Israel Police.”