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Livni Blasts Bennett Over Annexation Suggestion

Bennett's suggestion to annex Area C will "lead to the end of Zionism", claims Justice Minister Livni.
By Ido Ben Porat and Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/23/2014, 12:14 AM

Livni and Bennett
Livni and Bennett
Flash 90

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni blasted Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett on Thursday, over his plan for Israel to annex Area C of Judea and Samaria, where there is a Jewish majority.

"There is a group, part of which is represented in the coalition, which does not want a diplomatic settlement and does everything to sabotage it. This group and its leaders should tell the truth to the citizens of this country: they are leading to a binational state," Livni said during a speech in a conference in Eilat.

Annexing Area C, she claimed, will lead to the end of Zionism.

"Bennett is suggesting to annex Area C, destroy the fence and turn us into one state. He says give [the Palestinian Arabs] autonomy. But if you destroy the fence, at the end of the day two and a half million Palestinians will become citizens of this one country, and it will not be the Israel we love, it will be another country - the end of Zionism,” said Livni.

She went on to attack Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who said Thursday that he intends to advance legislation to expand Jerusalem’s borders to include so-called "settlement blocs" like Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion.

"Bennett and Katz know their suggestions will not happen. They just want to win points with those who do not want an agreement, who do not understand the significance of these proposals and the tragic consequences they will have on Israel as we want to keep it - a Jewish and democratic state which is connected to the world with a thriving economy," charged Livni.

She also addressed her meeting with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas last week, for which she was heavily criticized. In fact, the Ma’ariv This Week newspaper reported on Thursday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on the verge of firing Livni over the meeting, but changed his mind after sources close to Finance Minister Yair Lapid indicated that her firing would trigger a “coalition crisis.”

"In order to understand what Abbas wants, we need to talk to him,” said Livni, defending her actions. “I believe in direct negotiations. There are no formal negotiations now, but I was in London and he was in London and therefore the meeting took place.”

She added, "Suspending the negotiations does not mean boycotting the other side. Boycotting is silly when we are here and the conflict remains."