‘If PA Declares State, Israel Will Annex Settlements'
A government minister publicly advised the Palestinian Authority on Monday that if it unilaterally declares a new Arab state, Israel may annex parts of Judea and Samaria. Unlike eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria remain under military rule, although all Jewish residents have the same basic rights as other Israelis.
"If the Palestinians take such a unilateral line, Israel should also consider ... passing a law to annex some of the settlements," Environment Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) said on Voice of Israel government radio.
In the video below, Cabinet Minister Dr. Uzi Landau (Israel Our Home) and MK Danny Danon (Likud) take a similarly hard line. Landau blames Netanyahu's "generosity" in accepting the "two state solution" - albeit with a demilitarized PA state - for the situation, and believes that the PA threats for a unilateral declaration of a state are a result of the concessional declarations and the building freeze in Judea and Samaria.
MK Danon says that Israel must not settle for annexing settlement blocs, but must rather annex Judea and Samaria in their entirety, except for Arab cities.
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Minister Erdan also said Israel has the option of tightening up travel restrictions for Arabs and stopping the transmission of tax money that the Israeli government currently transfers to the Palestinian Authority - money that is collected by Israel for the PA.
Meanwhile, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) and Minister Landau have taken action to introduce bills for annexing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.
FM Lieberman Doubts UN Will Accept PA Stance
In a related item, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Our Home) stated that he doubts that PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will succeed in convincing the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the borders of a future PA State.
Lieberman told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee on Monday that the U.S. government probably would veto any U.N. resolution on behalf of a PA state. The Foreign Minister also said that if a unilateral action to declare a new Arab state were taken, Israel would be free of all previous commitments.
Abbas has rejected further negotiations with Israel because it refuses to halt all construction for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Abbas has also has refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a definition which would hamper his efforts to import millions of foreign Arabs into Israel.
MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) criticized Foreign Minister Lieberman for remaining in the government coalition following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s agreement in principle to establish a PA state and a de facto freeze on most new building projects for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.