Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar told Arutz Sheva Monday he explained to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that annexing some Jewish cities in Yesha is a needed response to Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ ploy for Non-Member Observer status in the United Nations.
The General Assembly is expected to vote on his request on or about November 29, the anniversary of the international body’s 1947 Partition Plan that would have created a new Arab State of Trans-Jordan. The plan would have left Israel with a small amount of land, much less than what eventually became Israel after the Arab world rejected the plan and went to war when the United Nations recognized Israel six months later
Sa'ar, a senior Likud Knesset Member, did not reveal Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response and emphasized that their discussion was only one of several that will be held as the administration weighs how to respond to the unilateral move by Abbas.
The Education Minister pointed out that Abbas has blatantly “violated previous agreements and requires an Israel response” for his going to the United Nations and continuing to circumvent agreements calling for negotiations with Israel on the establishment of the Palestinian Authority as an entity.
Sa’ar said a proper response would be to "change the status of certain areas in Judea and Samaria,” meaning annexing major Jewish population centers and giving their residents equality with all other Israeli citizens not living in Judea and Samaria.
Israel previously took the same action to recognize the Golan Heights and all of Jerusalem.
Sa'ar expressed surprise at Israeli politicians who embraced Abbas for telling Israeli media last week that he would not insist on the Arab world demand that several million foreign Arabs immigrate to Israel, based on the claim that they are descendants of those who previously lived in the country.
The Likud minister pointed out that Abbas told media in Egypt the following day that he would not relinquish the demand, which he called “holy”.
The Palestinian Authority leader later explained that he told Israeli media he would not insist on moving to his birthplace of Tzfat but did not intend to imply that he would demand the same position from all Palestinian Authority Arabs.
Sa'ar suggested that people listen to what Abbas tells Arab media and not what he relates in Israeli media.
He added that regardless of any unilateral move by the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli government should adopt the Levy report, which recognizes the legal right of Jews to live anywhere in Judea and Samaria and rejects the international community’s labeling Israel as an “occupier”.
The report was authored by former High Court Justice Edmund Levy and two other legal experts.