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Fatah and Hamas officials announce unity deal
Israel minister proposes partial West Bank annexation
Published Sunday 08/12/2013 (updated) 11/12/2013 09:47
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Israel's Economics and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, leader of
the Jewish Home party, arrives for the first cabinet meeting of the new
Israeli government on March 18, 2013 (Pool/AFP/File David Vaaknin)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday proposed that Israel annex parts of the West Bank under its full military control where most Jewish settlers live.

"I favor implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the zone where 400,000 (settlers) live and only 70,000 Arabs," said the head of the far-right Jewish Home religious party in the ruling coalition.

Bennett also ridiculed the US-brokered peace talks between Israel and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, whose writ covers the West Bank but not Gaza, ruled by the Islamist movement Hamas.

"This is all a joke. It's as if we're discussing the purchase of a car with only half of its owners," he told public radio.

In another negative Israeli assessment of the peace process, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Saturday: "There is no partner on the Palestinian side to reach a two-state solution for two peoples."

Their views contrasted with a statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday at the end of his latest mission to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

"I believe we are closer than we have been in years to bringing about the peace and the prosperity and the security that all of the people of this region deserve," Kerry told reporters.

Direct negotiations were launched in late July but have made little apparent progress as they approach the half-way mark of a targeted nine months.

Palestinian leaders have consistently lamented the continued construction of Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands during the peace talks, citing the Israeli failure to halt their construction as a major impediment to any future agreement that ensures Palestinian sovereignty in the West Bank.

In November, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced plans to build 20,000 new homes in settlements, in a major blow to the peace process. Although these plans were ostensibly later withdrawn, on Dec. 1 Knesset member Tibi said they were in fact still in effect.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in contravention of international law.

The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report
1 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
08/12/2013 11:46
It's a free country and he's free to express his opinion. Just like Hamas cabinet minister say they want to annex all of Israel. Somehow, if a Hamas cabinet member says something racist, inciteful and against "peace" nobody gives a damn. Why is that? Why do so many Maan readers and Maan itself tolerate hate-speech and war mongering so long as it is an Arab doing it?

2 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
08/12/2013 12:32
There seems to be little respect for Kerry's efforts. Hopefully, he will address this statement which, in addition to Mr Liebermann's, contrasts with the official position of the Israeli Prime Minister, a very odd situation.

3 ) Nadya / Israel
08/12/2013 13:00
@1-your daily comments sucking,certainly he's free to express his opinion like Hamas but the difference is that he is the Parasite living on stolen Palestinian land not hamas,therefore he should keep his stupid mouth.

4 ) Sami, the bedouin / Palestine
08/12/2013 13:03
The zionist society is ever heading right ... this means that there will never be any possibility for a "peace" agreement... and also it means that the zionist society is decaying in racism .. or as Abrom Burg said once: " a society that has no sense of future composed of the poor, the ultra religious and the Arabs" as the elite or the moderates are taking their laptop and luggage and leaving out ... back to their homes probably? ... the zionit entity is to witness hard years yet to come !

5 ) mohamed / somalia
08/12/2013 13:36
this man insane. the west bank belong the palestinian and no compromise. even abbas have no right to compromise

6 ) zios: all killers liars theive / USA
08/12/2013 13:38
zio stolen land is where criminals come to steal more land oh and brian? because you are all thieves and should at least be jailed

7 ) @ the Editor / Truth Again
08/12/2013 15:56
ALL, and NOT "MOST, Jewish settlers live in West Bank Areas under full Israeli military (& Administrative) control" (Areas C/E1 and Jerusalem), or they would have been driven out, or likely murdered long ago.

8 ) @ Carol-2, Sami-4, & Mo-5 / Ownership
08/12/2013 16:11
2- If Kerry told Switzerland to give it's mountains to Germany, there would "seem to be little respect for Kerry's efforts" too. 4- I agree, "there will never be any possibility for an agreement", since the Palestinian government will never agree on any borders, or conditions that make Israel permanent and secure, so * Israel Should unilaterally Partially "Annex such West Bank" Areas. 5- West Bank, Nor Negev, Lands belong the Palestinians/Bedouin, due to claims, without Legal Deeds.

9 ) Oliveland / Palestine
08/12/2013 17:12
He is only expressing what has been Israel's government policy-goal-dream for the last 50 years ( yes before the occupation ).

10 ) southparkbear / usa
08/12/2013 17:36
there's a chance for a real peace. go for it

11 ) Robert / US
09/12/2013 17:41
Brian again like always you show your ignorance & stupidity...stop supporting Terrorist and Terrorism.

12 ) j / usa
09/12/2013 21:02
Annex the whole west bank to israel. biblically its israel's anyway and west bank was never palestinian it was jordan's. palestinians have no right to it. Jordan was right to never try to win it back because they (arabs) didnt want to deal with these palestinians (arabs)

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:01
Oink oink, said the Zionist. One could write a children's book about this. The Greedy Piggies and Palestine...

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:04
To Brian Cohen #1: ' Why do so many Maan readers and Maan itself tolerate hate-speech and war mongering so long as it is an Arab doing it?' Because the 'Arabs' are right, and the Zionists wrong? Because what you are pleased to call 'hate-speech and war mongering' are declarations of truth and calls for resistance? Just speculating, of course. What excuse do you have for the nonsensical and vicious filth you purvey?

15 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:05
To southparkbear #10: 'there's a chance for a real peace. go for it' Learn to spell. You mean, 'if there's a chance to grab a real big piece, go for it.' Oink, oink, right?

16 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:09
I think Naftali Bennett is my nominee for 'most nauseating Zionist of 2013.' Given Netanyahu, Yishai, Ayalon, Peres, and of course the battlin' bouncer from Moldova, Lieberman, it's a crowded field with many different talents on display -- but Naftali's got to be given the prize.

17 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/12/2013 22:11
To mohamed #5: 'this man insane. the west bank belong the palestinian and no compromise.' A good deal more than that belongs to Palestine. There WAS a compromise, and Israel accepted it. It's called the 1947 Partition. Everything since has simply been lawless aggression.

18 ) RAFAEL / usa
09/12/2013 22:49
Truth is Bennett is correct you can not make a peace deal with the PA as it controls only Area A of the West Bank. If the IDF where not helping out sometimes the Hamas or Islamists would probably take over in short order just like in Gaza. So Bennett is correct annex Area C and provide autonomy in Areas A &B and learn to cooperate together on living peacefully together.

19 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 04:31
To Rafael #18: 'Truth is Bennett is correct you can not make a peace deal with the PA...' The only 'peace' deal Bennett is interested in is one where the Palestinians agree to march themselves into ghettos, the international community agrees to feed them, and the result is labeled 'Palestine.'

20 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 04:37
To Rafael #18: '... So Bennett is correct annex Area C and provide autonomy in Areas A &B and learn to cooperate together on living peacefully together.' Why do Zionists always need to lie? Can you tell me that, Rafael?

21 ) Alex / US
10/12/2013 06:30
@17 Colin: Only Jews accepted 1947 Partition. All, I repeat ALL Arab rejected Partition and ordered Arab residents to vacate their homes "temporarily", so that mighty Ara Armada can sweep through the land and destroy remaying Jews. Arabs listened and left. However, as ususal Jews were much better prepared for hostilities and fought with tooth and nails to stop Arab attacks. Jews lost part of Jerusalem due to a strong defense by British led Jordan Legion. But, jews were also able to gain territor

22 ) gabi / australia
10/12/2013 08:32
RAFAEL / usa - do you ever read any literature about this issue? I mean, literature, not hasbara? Try reading Benny Morris, or Illan Pappe about the history of the creation of the state of Israel and what followed, and the see that Israel's idea of the Palestinians should "learn to cooperate together on living peacefully together" means, "let us take all the land we want, then we'll agree to live in peace. And while you're at it, move out of what's left and you won't need peace from us."

23 ) southparkbear / usa
10/12/2013 13:37
wow, he's willing to give away that much?

24 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 18:29
To Alex #21: 'Arabs listened and left. However, as ususal Jews were much better prepared for hostilities and fought with tooth and nails to stop Arab attacks.' This is a fantasy. There was no 'order to Arabs to leave.' They were driven out by Zionist terror -- starting four months before independence. Come independence, Israel did not 'defend itself' but promptly advanced into the territory allocated to the Palestinian state -- which is why almost all the fighting happened there.

25 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 18:30
To Alex #21: 'Only Jews accepted 1947 Partition. ' That's entirely sufficient. The UN divided Palestine, Israel accepted the borders it was allocated -- those remain its borders. It wasn't 'eat all you can.'

26 ) Colin Wright / USA
10/12/2013 18:32
Why are we discussing proposals from an admitted murderer anyway? This is like considering Himmler's suggestions for a solution to 'the Jewish problem.' The guy has stated that it's a good thing to kill Palestinians, and he does it.

27 ) ian / australia
11/12/2013 13:46
Bennett plays his assigned role in the cast of characters which run Israel...kind of like at the start of The Bugs Bunny Show with the cast marching across the stage singing, "Overture, light the lights..." He's the onery one, the hot head, the loose cannon, the macho killer, making clownishly outrageous proposals, like this one, the military seizure of a great swathe of the West Bank. It's so blatantly illegal, and in the middle of peace talks, however pathetic, it's laughable.

28 ) ian / australia
11/12/2013 13:47
(contd.) He's dangerous because he puts extreme ideas out there, which don't go away, and are embraced by the lunatic fringe, but he's a clown, which seems to be his court function.
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