Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Israel should keep Beit El as the fourth settlement bloc to remain under its control in the occupied West Bank under any peace deal with the Palestinians, Israeli radio revealed on Thursday. The other Israeli settlement blocs the prime minister insists will be annexed are Gush Etzion, Ma'ale Adumim and Ariel.
According to the radio, Netanyahu has demanded financial compensation for the Palestinians instead of land swaps as part of a final deal. The proposal was rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israeli launched four F16 aircraft attacks against several targets in the Gaza Strip overnight. Four children and a woman were reported injured. A spokesman for the Israeli occupation army claimed that it had "responded" to rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, which were intercepted by its "Iron Dome" anti-missile system.
Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said that the rockets fired at the city of Ashkelon last night "proved" the importance of keeping Israeli soldiers in the Jordan Valley to protect settlements. Having an Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley would mean that any future Palestinian state would be surrounded by Israel and its soldiers.