Israeli sources reported that two senior officials of the Likud Party of Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called on the government to “officially annex C area” of the occupied West Bank, where Israel’s major illegal settlement blocks and settlements are located, in order to officially regard the area as part of the state of Israel.Israeli daily, Maariv, reported that Israeli Information and Diaspora Minister, Yuli Edelstein, and Member of Knesset (MK) Zeev Elkin, said that Israel must enforce its sovereignty over the occupied West Bank, stating that “Judea and Samaria must be in the hands of Israel forever”, according to the two officials.
They said that Israel’s settlements in the West Bank must be annexed as part of Israel, but added that Israel should conduct this move “slowly and carefully, not immediately”, in order to avoid massive international condemnation.
More and more Israeli officials, MK’s and ministers, members of the Israeli right-wing and far right fundamentalist parties, have recently voiced similar calls as an act of revenge against the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank especially after its garnered an overwhelming support in obtaining non-member observer state status at the United Nations General Assembly.
Israel claims it has the right to build and expand Jewish-only settlements in the occupied West Bank, including in and around occupied East Jerusalem, as it considers these settlements to be “housing projects built on state land”.
But International Law, and the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory, consider settlements built in the occupied territory to be illegal as they are built on occupied lands, and most of them are actually built on privately-owned Palestinian lands.
Israel’s Annexation Wall in the West Bank is also illegal and is largely designed for more illegal annexation of Palestinian lands and orchards besides the fact that it is preventing thousands of villagers from accessing their lands and orchards.
Israel never defined its border with the West Bank and is using the Wall, that extends around Palestinian lands, and encircling entire villages, as the de facto border with the Palestinian territories.
The Wall is also designed in a way that enables the expansion of existing settlements on the expense of Palestinian lands and property.