Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has used an interview in the Washington Post to renew her call for the annexation of the majority of the occupied West Bank.
In an interview published yesterday, Shaked replied, “Yes, definitely”, when asked whether she believes “it is time to apply Israeli sovereignty to the [occupied] Palestinian territories”.
“The Palestinian Authority rules Area A, Area B has joint security coordination with Israel, but in Area C, there are half a million Israelis and 100,000 Palestinians,” she added.
“I think we should apply Israeli law that area and give full Israeli citizenship, with all its rights, to the Palestinians there.”
Under the Oslo Accords, the occupied Palestinian territory was divided into Area A, B and C; Area C constitutes roughly 60 per cent of the West Bank.
Pressed by the interviewer how she envisages such a plan working, Shaked said that “Israeli law will be applied in Area C, and Areas A and B will be part of a confederation, with Jordan and Gaza”.
“I think any solution today needs to be part of a regional solution. It is not only Israel’s problem,” she continued, before clarifying that under her “confederation” proposal, “Area A, B [of the West Bank] and Gaza become part of Jordan.”
Shaked suggested that support for annexation is likely to rise over the coming years.
“Today, Israeli sovereignty in Area C and a confederation in Area A and B with Jordan looks like a bizarre option to the international community, but this is something we will continue to talk about and explain. I believe that in three years from now, the international community will understand this is the right solution.”
Asked whether a Trump administration makes such a development more likely, Shaked concurred.
“Of course,” she affirmed. “With the Obama administration, this issue was more difficult. The White House is [now] more open, and I think Trump is a very brave president. He thinks outside the box and is not tied to the State Department’s old paradigms.”