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Israel president calls for calming settler disputes over West Bank annexation

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, 25 November 2019 [Reuven Rivlin/Twitter]

President Reuven Rivlin yesterday called on Israelis to calm the tone of disagreement among them over Tel Aviv’s plans to annex nearly 30 per cent of the occupied West Bank.

“We must not prevent questions, doubts or criticism from any political side. Disagree – yes. Argue – absolutely. But the verbal violence, the name-calling, the ridiculing, and the contempt must stop,” Rivlin said in a statement.

Rivlin’s comments came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “strongly condemned” statements by a settler leader about the plan, according to Haaretz.

The annexation proposals are drafted based on the US’ so-called ‘deal of the century’ and are expected to be submitted to the Israeli Knesset for approval in July.

Representatives of the settlers and the national religious movement oppose the US plan because – they claim – it allows Palestinians to establish a state on the remaining land.

Jewish settler leader David Elhayani told Haaretz on Wednesday that Trump and his adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, “have proven in their plan that they are not friends of Israel”.

READ: Canada joins Western governments in condemnation of Israel annexation 

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