Israeli minister urges Israelis to ‘give their lives’ for annexation of West Bank
Hard-line Israeli politician Naftali Bennett says Israelis must “give their lives” to ensure the annexation of the occupied West Bank.
Speaking on Thursday, the education minister, who leads the Zionist Habayit Hayehudi party, said, “We must give our lives” for what he referred to as the cause of annexing the West Bank.
He also called for an active policy on the part of the Israeli regime to annex the West Bank, saying that the “path of concessions” to the Palestinian officials has failed, without explaining.
“We have to mark the dream, and the dream is that Judea and Samaria will be part” of Israel, Bennett said, using an Israeli name for the occupied territory.
He also strongly criticized statements by some Israeli politicians in favor of the two-state solution.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future independent state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
“We have no right to divide the land,” Bennett said, adding, “Not with words, not with actions, not by silent acquiescence, not with quiet excuses. Not by politicians and not by jurists.”
Elsewhere in his remarks, the Israeli minister strongly opposed the eviction of Amona, an Israeli settlement outpost in the occupied West Bank built on privately-owned Palestinian lands in 1995 and considered illegal under international and even Israeli law.
The presence and continued expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine have created a major obstacle to the establishment of such a state.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories they are built on were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
The US State Department and the White House, denounced Israel for new settlement plans on Wednesday, accusing the Tel Aviv regime of cementing the reality of “perpetual occupation.”
Bennett has a history of making controversial remarks, even by the standards of the hawkish Israeli regime itself.
In early July, he advised the Israeli regime to kidnap senior members of the Palestinians resistance movement of Hamas for use as bargaining chips in the conflict with the Palestinians.
According to The Times of Israel, Bennett was himself an officer in the Israeli Sayeret Matkal commando unit, which abducted two senior Lebanese figures — Abdel Karim Obeid in 1989 and Mustafa Dirani in 1994.