Top Israeli minister pushes to extend sovereignty to West Bank


A leading federal government hawk has actually required Israel to establish sovereignty over nearly a 3rd of the inhabited West Bank, hours after United States President Donald Trump revealed a Middle East peace plan that Palestinians stated amounted to apartheid.

With Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still outside Israel after participating in the strategy’s presentation in Washington, Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett on Wednesday described his hardline analysis of what the White Home had provided Israel.


” Last night history knocked on the door of our home and provided us a one-time chance to apply Israeli law on all settlements in Samaria, Judea, the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea,” Bennett stated, using the Hebrew names for areas in the Israeli-occupied West Bank

The remarks by Bennett, a union partner in Netanyahu’s right-wing federal government, led Palestinians to say Trump’s strategy had actually offered the “thumbs-up” for Israel to officially annex its settlements in the West Bank, which it has occupied considering that the 1967 Six Day War.

Trump’s strategy imagines a two-state solution with Israel and a future Palestinian state living together with each other, however with rigorous conditions at which Palestinians have actually baulked.

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He proposed a four-year schedule for the development of a Palestinian state, with Palestinians first having to consent to halt attacks by the Hamas group that manages the besieged Gaza Strip enclave.

But the plan likewise used United States recognition of Israel’s West Bank settlements, which are deemed illegal under global law – in addition to offering Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley, and a redrawn, demilitarised Palestinian state that would fulfill Israel’s security requirements.

Jerusalem would be the undistracted capital of Israel, it stated.

‘ Diplomatic compass’

Trump’s ‘peace strategy’: The farce, the fraud and the fury

Bennett had purchased a group to be set up to apply Israeli law and sovereignty on all Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

He is contending with Netanyahu for support from conservative citizens in an election set for March 2.

It is unclear whether today caretaker administration has a legal required to bring out such a relocation after two undetermined elections in 2019.

Netanyahu on Wednesday restated his support for Trump’s plan, telling the US-based Fox tv network: “We will not contradict in any way the summary that the president put forward.”

However Amir Peretz, head of Israel’s left-wing Labor Celebration, said no unilateral plan could work. “Now more than ever, it’s clear that we need a diplomatic compass,” he stated.

‘ It’s about apartheid’

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Trump’s strategy the “slap of the century” after it was announced.

Chief Palestinian mediator Saeb Erekat stated on Wednesday that Trump’s team had simply “copied and pasted” the plan that Netanyahu and Israeli settler leaders wanted to see carried out.

” It’s about annexation, it’s about apartheid,” he said in Ramallah in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. “Transferring to the de jure addition of settlements is something that was okayed yesterday.”

Palestinians likewise dismissed the proposal for a capital in Abu Dis in the West Bank, just outside the Israeli municipal borders of Jerusalem.

It lies a mile east of the historical walled Old City, house to websites spiritual to Judaism, Christianity and Islam, however cut off by an Israeli wall and checkpoints.

Before revealing the much-touted strategy, the Trump administration had actually broken from worldwide consensus by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The administration had actually likewise halted help to the Palestinians, and said it no longer thought about the settlements a breach of global law.

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Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and the strategy’s principal designer, shook off the Palestinian rejection.

” We’re not going to chase the Palestinians … the Palestinian management, you can’t actually treat them like they’re a severe federal government, or capable or competent dealmakers,” he told reporters. “They’ll do what they have actually always done, which is screw whatever up.”

The Palestinians could press for a United Nations condemnation of the plan. Israel’s UN mission signalled on Tuesday that it would work to thwart this in a diplomatic project with the US.

Palestinian state

Gaza political expert Talal Okal said the offer provided Israel the right to take what it wanted “immediately, while the Palestinians need to wait 4 years to see whether they have rights or not”.

Amos Yadlin, a previous Israeli head of military intelligence, said: “This is the most beneficial prepare for Israel ever presented by a global player”.

Nevertheless, he said that due to the fact that the strategy consisted of mention of a two-state service, it could still cause problems for Netanyahu among his conservative allies.

Bennett seemed to verify this. “The Israeli federal government,” he stated, “will not identify a Palestinian state.”

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