Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett announced Wednesday night that he is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in writing to annex large Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria and take them out of the status of “military rule.”
He explained his timing is directly related to the Palestinian Authority’s “new record of extortion” throughout nearly nine months of “negotiations” that have been nothing more than drawn out period of demands in return for Israel’s sitting down to hear more demands.
“The Palestinians broke the principles of negotiations and applied for membership” in U.N. agencies, Bennett wrote, adding that the Palestinian Authority continues to incite for the murder of Jews.
“We have been beating our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations – and not surprisingly the wall is not broken,” Bennett continued.
His proposal would place Gush Etzion, which includes Efrat, Neve Daniel, Elazar, Beitar Illit and several kibbutzim under Israeli sovereignty, as Israel did in 1980 when it annexed areas of Jerusalem that were restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 19767. Similar, Israel annexed the Golan Heights.
Almost all foreign media and foreign governments refer to the areas as “occupied.”
The city of Ariel, in central Samaria, Beit El in northern Samaria, and Ma’aleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, also would be annexed under Bennett’s plan.
“It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era,” Bennett stated.
Momentum for placing the large population enters of Jews under Israeli sovereignty has been building up for at least two years.
Last year, a government-appointed commission of three legal experts, including retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, concluded that Israel is not an “occupier” and that Jews have the right to live anywhere in Judea and Samaria under international law.
Prime Minister Netanyahu shelved the report, but the recent collapse of the illusion of trust between the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli government has opened the way for both the Palestinian Authority and Israeli to stake out claims.
Abbas already has said he will ask for membership in U.N. agencies , with an eye on the International Court, where he wants to file “war crimes” claims against Israel.