Most of Ehud Olmert’s top Kadima Party colleagues would oppose ceding the Golan Heights in a peace deal with Syria.
Of the 10 Kadima ministers serving with the prime minister in the Cabinet, seven have come out against Syria’s demand for a full return of the Golan as a condition of the recently relaunched negotiations with Israel, Ma’ariv reported Monday.
Two of the naysayers, Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz and Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit, said in radio interviews that they would support restoring Syrian sovereignty over the Golan if Israeli communities could be kept there under a long-term lease.
Damascus has shown no sign of being willing to accept such counter-offers regarding the strategic plateau, which Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed.
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter is the only Kadima minister who would openly support ceding the Golan at this time, according to Ma’ariv.
Deputy Prime Minister Haim Ramon, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Roni Bar-On – also members of the centrist ruling party – are undecided, the newspaper reported.