An Israeli parliamentarian declared yesterday that the current reality is that of "apartheid", as a Knesset committee debated population figures for Palestinians in the West Bank.
Echoing long-standing claims by Palestinians and international experts, MK Ahmed Tibi (Joint List) described the status quo on the ground as one of "apartheid being maintained by military rule".
He added that "those who eliminated the two-state vision must decide: either one democratic state with equal rights to all, or an apartheid state".
Tibi made the remarks as a Knesset committee discussed data presented by a defence official that showed there are now more Palestinians than Jews between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea (both pre-1967 Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory).
"The vision of an Arab prime minister, which now looks like a delusional idea, is drawing near," he said. "And then this will be an equal and democratic country, and not a Jewish and undemocratic one."
According to Colonel Uri Mandes, some five million Palestinians live in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. In addition, there are some 1.5 million Palestinians with Israeli citizenship. The number of Jewish Israelis, meanwhile, is estimated at around 6.4 million.