In an address to the Israeli Parliament (Knesset) on Thursday, Interim Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Israeli settlements built illegally in the West Bank will establish the final border for the state of Israel, annexing 20% of the Palestinian Territory and dividing the Palestinian land into a series of disconnected ‘enclaves’.
The state of Israel has never declared its borders since the state’s creation in 1948 on Palestinian land. Since 1948, the Israeli state has continually engaged in expansion and usurpation of Palestinian land in times of both war and peace. There are currently 250,000 Israelis living illegally (according to international law) in the West Bank, and another 200,000 living illegally in East Jerusalem. Olmert has previously outlined a plan that would illegally annex the land that these illegal settlers are living on for the state of Israel.
"I, too, like many others, dreamed and wished that we could safeguard all of the territories of the Land of Israel for ourselves, and that the day would not come when we would need to give up parts of our land.
"Only those for whom the Land of Israel burns in their souls, know the pain of the concession, the farewell to the land of our forefathers," said Olmert, son of a founder of the right-wing Herut party, precursor to the Likud, Olmert’s political home until late last year, when Ariel Sharon led a split from the party and formed Kadima.
"Even if the Jewish eye fills with tears, and the heart is torn, we must safeguard the principle – we must keep a solid and stable Jewish majority in our state."
Olmert, on Sunday, will take over the Prime Minister’s offices for the first time since he became acting Prime Minister following Ariel Sharon’s stroke on January 4.