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Israeli minister: We must ‘give our lives’ to annex West Bank

Naftali Bennett said Israelis must realise their dream of making entire West Bank part of state of Israel

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett called on supporters on Thursday to give up their lives to ensure the annexation of the West Bank.

Speaking at a conference honouring a late right-wing Israeli legislator, Bennett voiced opposition to the eviction of Amona, an Israeli settlement outpost in the West Bank built on privately owned Palestinian land in 1995 and considered illegal under international and Israeli law.

“We have to mark the dream, and the dream is that Judea and Samaria will be part of the sovereign state of Israel,” Bennett said, using an Israeli name for the West Bank.

The education minister, who leads the religious Zionist Habayit Hayehudi party, called for an active policy to annex the West Bank, saying that the “path of concessions” has failed.

“We can’t keep marking the land of Israel as a tactical target and a Palestinian state as the strategic target,” he was quoted as saying by Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The West Bank, occupied by Israel in 1967, is supposed to be, along with the Gaza Strip, home to the Palestinian state. World powers, including the United States, see the two-state solution as the solution to end the 68-year-old conflict.

But Israel continues to build and expand Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Tzipi Livni, former prime minister and co-chair of the Zionist Union opposition party, criticised Bennett’s comments, voicing fears that Palestinians would outnumber Israelis in a single state that would include the West Bank.

“Bennett’s dream and the minority that he represents are the nightmare of all the people of Israel: A state with an Arab majority, with a continuous violent conflict,” she told Haaretz.

The US State Department and White House slammed Israel for new settlement plans on Wednesday, accusing their Middle Eastern ally of cementing the reality of “perpetual occupation”.

The plan undermines hopes for peace and “is fundamentally inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state”, US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

(Source / 07.10.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police

The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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