Photo Credit: Flash 90
Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett at the INSS conference in Tel Aviv, January 2014.

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

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Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

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