Gilad Erdan
Gilad ErdanFlash 90

Right-wing MKs responded Sunday night to US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman's comment that Israel has the right to annex at least some parts of Judea and Samaria.

Economy Minister Eli Cohen (Kulanu), who also serves as a member of Israel's Diplomatic-Security Cabinet, said Friedman "absolutely does not have to apologize, because he did not err."

"Even the Palestinian Authority (PA) recognizes that, even if they don't explicitly state it. Now, after 52 years, the time is right to apply sovereignty. At this stage, to the settlement blocs, similar to Jerusalem. Sooner or later, other countries will recognize it."

MK Ofir Sofer (United Right) said, "For years they've tried to tell us that if we only concede and give away parts of Israel, the world will respect us more and we'll avoid international boycotts. This theory crumbled with the US' recognition of our sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and now it collapsed completely, after senior US officials recognized our rights in Judea and Samaria. The proper action to take right now is to [apply] sovereignty."

MK Bezalel Smotrich, also of the United Right, emphasized that "sovereignty will bring peace."

"That is apparently what the Americans are finally understanding," he said. "Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria will cut the Arab hopes of creating a state, the same hope that has turned the wheels of terror and the violent fighting for over a century."

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), said that "applying Israeli law to towns in Judea and Samaria is a step in the right direction."

"The Trump administration's worldview, which Ambassador Friedman expressed, is the one which might bring about a change and cause the Palestinians to understand that a boycott of Israel and the US and supporting terror and incitement will not bring them any achievements, and they are the ones who will lose out thanks to their obstinacy," he said.

"For years the Palestinians have been told that time works only in their favor, and therefore (and for other reasons) they refused any suggestion of compromise. Under [PA Chairman Mahmoud] Abbas, there will no longer be diplomatic negotiations. Only if the Palestinians' next leader and the PA public understand that Israel and the world will not wait for them, maybe then a leadership ready for compromise will be able to grow.

"Applying Israeli law to the towns in Judea and Samaria is a step in the right direction, which sends this message and advances peace," he concluded.