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Likud solution is to annex West Bank and establish Palestinian state in Gaza

Likud Party MK and Israeli Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely has suggested that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is the annexation of the West Bank and creation of a Palestinian State in the Gaza Strip. Arab citizens of Israel, would she claims, be granted equal rights in the extended state.


The Knesset member was speaking at the Professors' Forum for Political and Economic Immunity when she made the suggestion. The programme covered several proposals to resolve the conflict. According to Maariv newspaper, the forum also touched on the idea of turning the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan into a Palestinian state. The problem with that, said the MK, is that Jordan is not under Israeli control.

"There may be a revolution there tomorrow or in a hundred years," she said. "We need an additional option which would be an active Israeli initiative: the vision of Greater Israel, with one modification – it would be without Gaza."

The aim of annexation, added the deputy minister, would be to boost the number of Jews migrating to Israel, which would "solve the demographic problem" for Israel as a supposedly "Jewish state". She noted that it is both illegal and unreasonable to suggest, as some have done, that all Arabs should be expelled "from the [Jordan] river to the sea", and pointed out that there are Arab members and parties in the Knesset. "When all is said and done, however, this is a national, not a bi-national state."

Turning to the negotiations with the Palestinians, Hotovely said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is taking part with great confidence under a lot of US pressure. As prime minister, she said, if he sees such a move to be in Israel's interests, then he should proceed.

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