Former Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, who heads into September’s election as the leader of the United Right alliance, has said that only the participation of her list in a future coalition will guarantee the annexation of West Bank settlements.
Speaking in an interview with the Jerusalem Post which will be published in full over the weekend, Shaked said that she does not trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise before April’s election that he would seek to annex settlements in Area C of the occupied West Bank.
“Without a big, strong United Right, there is no chance that it will happen. The only ones who will push it are us,” she said.
According to the Post, the position of Shaked’s New Right (Hayemin Hehadash) party – part of the United Right list – is to annex Area C of the occupied West Bank, applying Israeli law to settlements in the area.
For Shaked, this would involve giving Area C’s Palestinian residents – who she numbers at some 100,000 – full Israeli citizenship. The United Nations, by contrast, says some 300,000 Palestinians live in areas located partially or fully in Area C.
Meanwhile, speaking on Israeli radio yesterday, Shaked distanced herself from fellow United Right politician – and current Education Minister Rafi Peretz – who recently expressed support for the annexation of the entire West Bank, without granting citizenship to its Palestinians.
“We have no intention of annexing two million Palestinians, but we do want to apply Israeli law on territory where the decisive majority of its residents are Israeli citizens,” she said.
Shaked claimed that Peretz’s remarks had been “misunderstood”.
“The position of the New Right is clear – asserting Israeli sovereignty on Area C exclusively. In Area C, there are 450,000 Israelis, about 100,000 Arabs who will get full citizenship. Israel can absorb them. And definitely not to assert sovereignty over Area A and B,” she said.