Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said yesterday that “Area C” of the occupied West Bank belongs to Israel, Anadolu reported.
“I solemnly declare that Area C belongs to Israel,” Bennett said at a conference on settlement construction, adding that he has repeatedly called for imposing Israeli sovereignty over this land.
He added: “Israel is fighting a real war on Area C.”
“We are launching a campaign for the future of Area C; it started a month ago and I’m announcing it here today,” Bennett added.
“Our objective is that within a short amount of time, and we will work for it, we will apply [Israeli] sovereignty to all of Area C, not just the settlements, not just this bloc or another,” Bennett told the Kohelet Policy Forum in Jerusalem.
Area C constitutes about 60 per cent of the occupied West Bank and is under full control of the Israeli occupation state.
He continued: “About a month ago, I held a meeting and explained the ways that the State of Israel will do everything possible to ensure that these areas [Area C] will be part of the State of Israel.”
The West Bank is divided into three areas according to the Oslo Accords; Area A, under full Palestinian control, Area B, under Palestinian administrative control and Israeli security control, and Area C, under full Israeli control.
Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live in more than 100 illegal settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.