(June 14) Likud MP Miki Zohar, chair of the Israeli coalition, says he is opposed to the Palestinians having a state. He claimed that as long as he chaired the coalition government he would not permit the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Previously published in the Digital Journal
Zohar favors annexation of the occupied West BankZohar says that Israel must declare sovereignty over the West Bank territories it occupies through annexation. The Holy Land he claims "is ours alone". The annexation would cut deep into territory claimed by the Palestinians. Under International law the West Bank is considered occupied territory but the Israelis consider it disputed territory and claim the laws of occupation do not apply. Israel has built Israeli settlements in the territory violating occupation laws.Zohar said to the Hamevaser newspaper: "I am in favor of applying sovereignty to all Jewish communities in all parts of the Land of Israel. This is a historic opportunity that it is not certain we will have in the future - to apply sovereignty to at least 30 percent of Judea and Samaria. We should not be afraid to acknowledge the fact that this is our holy land and ours alone. On the other hand, I strongly oppose the principle of a Palestinian state. I will not allow any situation in which the government or Knesset commits itself to the establishment of a Palestinian state. As long as I am the chairman of the coalition, I will ensure these matters, as these are ideological and principled matters on which I will not compromise." Zahar admitted that there were will issues to be resolved, including roads, enclaves and more but that these issues were capable of resolution but he would in no way agree to the Palestinians having a state.Annexation is supported by the US Trump administrationBack in late April Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear that annexation was a matter for Israel to decide: "As for the annexation of the West Bank, the Israelis will ultimately make those decisions. That's an Israeli decision. And we will work closely with them to share with them our views of this in [a] private setting."An anonymous US State Dept. spokesperson said in late April: "As we have made consistently clear, we are prepared to recognise Israeli actions to extend Israeli sovereignty and the application of Israeli law to areas of the West Bank that the vision foresees as being part of the State of Israel." The annexation would accompany an agreement by Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians along the lines of "President Trump's Vision" she said. However, the Palestinian's have already rejected Trump's plan that did not involve any negotiations or even consultations with Palestinians. A BBC article at the end of January described the Palestinian reaction: "Palestinians have dismissed US President Donald Trump's new Middle East peace plan as a "conspiracy". It envisages a Palestinian state and recognition of Israeli sovereignty over settlements in the occupied West Bank."