Israeli Housing Minister Yoav Gallant vowed yesterday that "the only national state that can exist in Israel is the Zionist state".
Gallant, who hails from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's ruling Likud party, made the remarks while making a fresh attack against the Palestinian presence in the occupied southern West Bank and Negev.
"Those who want to establish a sub-state – it cannot be in our home," he said.
"With the support of hostile elements from the southern Hebron hills and the support of Arab MKs, there has been a process of Islamisation that begins from the Judean fortresses through the Bedouin towns to the Dimona crater."
Gallant continued: "This reality contradicts the national vision and I am not willing to give up our hold on the land. It cannot be that in the 21st century, only 100,000 Jews will live south of Be'er Sheva".
Earlier this week, speaking in the Knesset, Gallant made similar remarks, claiming that "the south is under attack not only from Gaza", citing "the illegal and hostile construction in the rural Bedouin areas in the Negev", and "the Palestinian Islamist expansion from the Hebron area".
"The programme to reinforce Jewish settlement in the Negev constitutes a long term and stable solution for a Jewish hold over the region," the housing and construction minister added.