‘We are ready to die’: Israelis say they’ll sacrifice if necessary

Israel’s army chief said Wednesday that the country will go to war if the Palestinians don’t give up their right to return to the West Bank.

“We are prepared to die,” Brig. Gen. Benny Gantz said at a news conference.

“We are the ones who need to defend ourselves, and we will do everything in our power to prevent a collapse of our forces.

We will not be able to stand idly by.”

Gantz said the Israeli military will respond with “maximum force” if the United Nations Security Council decides to authorize Israeli action against the Palestinians.

The Israeli army chief also said he is open to negotiations with the Palestinians to reach an accord to end the nearly 20-year Israeli occupation of the West Jerusalem enclave, which is home to Israel’s Jewish majority.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly called for a two-state solution, which involves the Palestinian state and a future independent Palestinian state in the West of the Green Line.

Gantz, however, said he supports the idea of a permanent solution.

Gantz, whose military has made a series of military moves against the West, made the comments as he held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Al-Ja’abari at the start of the first day of the visit.

Ganz is expected to meet with Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday.

Abbas has expressed his desire to meet the Israelis at the Ramallah talks, which could begin as early as Friday.

The Palestinian leader has previously said that he hopes for a solution to the conflict within weeks, but has also said the Palestinians will not accept a settlement that leaves them isolated in the Middle East.

Palestinian negotiators are holding a series for the West bank in an effort to bring about a two state solution.

The talks will also include discussions with Israel about the future of the Palestinian refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, as well as a draft peace plan that will outline how to reach the goal of ending the Israeli occupation.

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