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Israeli official: Annexation of settlements would lead to 'disaster'
Published Sunday 08/06/2014 (updated) 09/06/2014 17:47
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An Israeli settlement in the West Bank (Ma'anImages/file)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday that he would bring down Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyuhu's government should the latter attempt to annex Jewish-only West Bank settlements, according to Israeli media.

"Extreme right-wing forces are pushing us toward the delusional idea of annexation, which will lead us to the disaster called a bi-national state," Haaretz quoted Lapid as saying at a conference for national policy.

"I don't know if this is a public relations exercise or a true intention, but we will not allow this to happen. If there is an attempt to annex even one settlement unilaterally, Yesh Atid will not only bolt the government, it will bring it down."

The phrase "bi-national state" refers to the idea of Israel as a country comprised of a comparable number of Palestinian Arabs and Israeli Jews, an idea many Israelis see as a threat to Israel's Jewish character.

Haaretz reported that Lapid -- founder of the Yesh Atid political party -- also called on the Israeli PM to present a map of Israel's borders with a future Palestinian state.

Lapid, speaking at the annual Herzliya Conference, additionally presented a new Israeli-Palestinian plan for peace, the Israeli newspaper said.

The plan would involve the evacuation of "isolated" West Bank settlements during negotiations as a goodwill measure.

Additionally, Lapid told the conference that world powers' rejection of Netanyahu's calls to not to recognize the new Palestinian government implied that Israel was losing international support.

"We are in an unprecedented crisis with the United States," Lapid said as quoted by Haaretz.

"This crisis is the result of problematic and at times contemptuous handling of affairs on our side, but it is still possible -- and necessary -- to return our special relationship with the United States to the right path. This will be the first step on the way back to the negotiating table."

Israel announced plans to build thousands of settlement homes across the occupied West Bank throughout the last round of peace talks, infuriating Palestinians.

The international community considers Israel's settlement enterprise illegal.
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1 ) Joe / USA
08/06/2014 21:15
That's how Israel going to lose by having a conflict from within the Government. Military we all know they are superior to the PA, but politicaly they are isolating themselves as someone mentioned it earlier. Netanyahu government need to fall for peace to be achieve in the area. It is not only for the best interest for Israel to regain their identity, but for the whole region as well for peace to be achieve.

2 ) Mel / USA
08/06/2014 22:07
'...a threat to Israel's Jewish character..'? LOL! The 'threat' to ALL 'Jewish character'is Israel's racist,bigotted Zionist'character'& the OCCUPATION of a Palestinian people who're are more a core character of the Holy Land than Zionism! Zionist OCCUPATION insults Jewish character,period.TV anchor-man Lapid can blame others,but every political party of"Zion"has overtly insulted Jewish character,by virtue of maintaining & expanding the Zionist occupation of Palestine. Occupation is the CRISIS!

3 ) Outlier / USA
08/06/2014 23:47
Good for Lapid. "A man's got to know his limits," but apparently Netanyahu does not.
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