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Likud decision to annex West Bank represents ‘Israeli apartheid,’ says Arab MK

Bulldozers are seen during excavation near Ramat Shlomo, a Jewish settlement, in Eastern Part of Jerusalem on 13 September 2017 [Mahmoud Ibrahem/Anadolu Agency]

An Arab member of parliament in Israel, Yousef Jabareen, has described the Likud party’s decision to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank as representing “Israeli apartheid,” Alwatanvoice.com reported on Monday. Jabareen is a member of the Law and Justice Committee in the Knesset.

“The Palestinians accepted the two-state solution as part of the Arab Peace Initiative, which reserves only 22 per cent of Palestine’s historic land for them,” said the MK. “However, the Israeli government does not accept this and is planning to annex Areas B and C and this abolishes any horizon for creating a sovereign Palestinian state.”

He added that such an annexation establishes an apartheid system which gives the Palestinians some degree of autonomy in the major Palestinian cities. “This is similar to the South African Bantustans [under apartheid white rule].”

Jabareen said that Area C represents 70 per cent of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “Annexing it to Israel means that the ruling party is pouring fuel on the fire, leading to escalation with the Palestinians.” This proves, he insisted, that Israel cannot be a partner in any peaceful reconciliation with the people of Palestine.

Read: Israel to build three new settlements in Bethlehem

The Knesset member is also the head of the international relations committee of the Arab Joint-List in the Israeli parliament. He sent a message to the international community, calling for it to translate its resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian cause into reality on the ground. He also called for world leaders to take steps towards ending the occupation and protecting the Palestinian right to self-determination and create the state of Palestine, as well as to impose economic sanctions on Israeli activities related to its illegal settlements.

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