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Israeli minister calls for annexing West Bank

Israeli Economy Minister Naftali Bennett has announced the death of the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and called upon Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “extend sovereignty over the West Bank”.

He noted that this would be in response to the “unilateral measures taken [by the PA] after the stalemate of the peace talks.” The PA signed a letter of accession for 15 international bodies, though many believe the move is symbolic, it has angered Israel.

Bennett sent a letter to Netanyahu asking him “to have a session [for the government] as soon as possible on an alternative plan; to begin the process of applying Israeli sovereignty on areas in Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank] that are under Israeli control.”

The Israeli minister has been an outspoken critic of the Israeli peace talks with the PA. He has been known for his strong opposition to the idea of a two-state solution.

He blamed the PA for the current crisis of peace talks. “It set a new record of [Palestinian] extortion and obstinacy,” he said. “In light of all this, it is clear the current process has run its course and that we are entering a new era.”

In response to Bennett’s letter, chief Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that this does not help achieve peace.

In a response posted on Facebook, Livni wrote: “Why not? Let’s go for it, if we want to go, let’s do it all the way. So we can never reach an agreement and become a bi-national state and lose everything we love. Why not!”

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