Israeli education minister Naftali Bennett has declared that the “era of the Palestinian state” is over, renewing calls for the annexation of land in the occupied West Bank, reported Arutz Sheva.
Bennett, who heads the coalition party Jewish Home, yesterday spoke at a meeting of his faction, attacking Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
“The time has come to think about the day after, and the time has come for us to all internalise the end of the era of the Palestinian state, and the beginning of the era of sovereignty,” a reference common amongst the Israeli right to the formal annexation of some or all of the occupied West Bank.
“Abbas and the idea of a Palestinian state are fading away, and the man has lost his connection to reality,” Bennett added.
The minister told his colleagues that the tide was turning in their favour.
“Six years ago, we placed the sovereignty plan on the public agenda. At that time we were at the height of negotiations with the Palestinians to establish a state, and sovereignty seemed far-reaching,” he said.
“In the meantime, the reality has changed completely and everyone understands that the vision of a Palestinian state has dropped from the agenda, and therefore we have to move to an optimistic and pioneering message of sovereignty. A national and political consensus is emerging,” he added.
Bennett also claimed that his “friend”, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon who heads the Kulanu party, “also supports the immediate application of sovereignty over the [settlement] blocs”.
“The time for sovereignty has arrived, and it’s time to bring this idea from potential to reality. We’re in a very unique window on this matter.”