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Netanyahu doubles down: ‘Palestinian sovereignty…is dead’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Prime Ministry Office in Jerusalem on 20 March 2019 [Kobi Gideon/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at Prime Ministry Office in Jerusalem on 20 March 2019 [Kobi Gideon/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli media in an interview yesterday that he intends to annex West Bank settlements, “if possible with American support”.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu told Arutz 7 that he intended to “apply Israeli law to the communities in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank]” during “the next term”.

Asked whether the Trump administration was aware of these plans, Netanyahu replied: “Sure”, adding: “They [the US] will react as they will react. We will see. These are my principles.”

The Likud leader also doubled down on his vow not to remove illegal settlements.

“If we do not tear out the settlers, then who are they going to live under? They are going to be under Palestinian sovereignty? That is dead,” he declared.

READ: Has Netanyahu killed AIPAC as an effective lobbying tool? 

Those who live in the settlements, “will be under Israeli sovereignty,” he added.

Netanyahu further elaborated to Arutz 7:

The Palestinians can have all the powers to govern themselves, but none to threaten us, which means we maintain security control. We don’t uproot anyone. We don’t divide Jerusalem.

“My friend [former US vice president] Joe Biden, who may be running for the presidency of the US [in 2020], said, ‘Bibi, that is not a state. That is not sovereignty.’ I said, ‘Joe, you call it what you will. This is what it is. These are my positions. I am not changing these positions.’”

Meanwhile, in an interview with Army Radio, “the prime minister clarified that he does not intend to annex all of the West Bank, just the places in Area C where the settlements are located”, the paper added.

“A Palestinian state will not be created, not like the one people are talking about. It won’t happen.”

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IsraelIsraeli ElectionsMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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