Bennett Calls on Government to Annex 'Settlement Blocs'
Economics Minister and Jewish Home party Chairman Naftali Bennett has drafted a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday night, demanding that Israel establish full sovereignty over "settlement blocs" in Judea and Samaria.
Bennett explained that the demand comes now - not earlier - due to the fact that the Palestinian Authority has violated the Oslo Accords by taking unilateral action in international fora by applying for membership in fifteen different international organizations.
"These days we have witnessed the decline of the peace process," Bennett wrote to the Prime Minister, "and the Palestinians broke a new record of extortion and disobedience. Following Abbas's refusal to discuss the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and Israel releasing dozens of murderers for the continuation of negotiations, the Palestinians broke the basis for negotiations and applied for membership in the UN. Moreover, throughout the negotiations, the Palestinians continued their racist incitement to murder Jews and paid 'allowances' to 'martyrs.'"
"It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era," he stated. "For years now we have been slamming our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations - and not surprisingly the wall is not broken."
"It is time for a new way of thinking," he continued. "I ask you to hold a hearing as soon as possible on an alternative plan (Plan B) to start a process of applying Israeli sovereignty over those areas in Judea and Samaria which are controlled by Israel - Gush Ariel, Gush Etzion, Beit El, Ma'aleh Adumim and more."
Bennett pointed out that those areas - including Gush Etzion, the Ariel and Bet El 'blocs' and Maale Adumim, among others - contain a large Jewish majority.
"In these areas live about 400 thousand Israelis - and only tens of thousands of individual Palestinians," he noted. "These areas are widely thought to be agreed upon in national consensus and have security significance, historical significance, and value for the State of Israel.
"The process will be similar to Israel establishing sovereignty over Jerusalem during the Eshkol government and the Golan Heights during the Begin government," he noted.
Bennett has advocated for sovereignty over Judea and Samaria before, most notably in a viral video released shortly before his election to government. More recently, he stated late last month that the plan was at the top of his agenda, saying "give me the votes, and I will take care of it."