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Israeli minister: expel 100,000 Palestinians and annex settlements

Image of labourers building units of homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem [Sliman Khader/Apaimages]
Labourers work on building units for Israeli settlers in East Jerusalem [Sliman Khader/Apaimages]

Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz proposed yesterday to annex five major Israeli settlements into Jerusalem and remove 100,000 Palestinians from the city's census, Israeli media reported.

"Those settlements, those towns are Maale Adumim, Gush Etzion, Givat Zeev, Beitar Illit and Efrat. They will become part of Jerusalem but without changing their status," Katz told reporters.

Read: Knesset passes draft bill to annex illegal West Bank settlements

The illegal Israeli Jewish settlers living in these illegal settlements will be able to take part in municipal elections, but the settlements would not be under full Israeli sovereignty.

This proposal, which Likud is recommending become law, excludes 100,000 Palestinian residents in Shuafat and other areas outside the separation wall from the city even though they are in the city's jurisdiction. Katz has said a new municipality will be built for them.

The Israeli newspaper Times of Israel said that this proposal makes Jerusalem's official demographic balance "more Jewish".

The international community – including the USA, Israel's closest friend – considers Israeli Jewish settlements illegal and an obstacle to peace.

"I am a hawk, but a clever hawk, a humanitarian hawk," said Katz.

Read:Israeli minister calls for execution of Palestinian prisoners

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