Israel minister urges annexation of settlements, calls for Abbas’ ouster

Gilad Erdan

Middle East Monitor  /  June 17, 2019

Israel’s Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information Minister Gilad Erdan yesterday called for the ouster of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, alongside the annexation of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to reports in Arutz Sheva and the Jerusalem Post.

Speaking at a conference organised by the Post in New York, Erdan reiterated Israeli claims that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is “rewarding terror” by offering financial support to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails and the families of those Palestinians killed by Israeli forces.

“It’s time to say loudly and clearly,” Erdan stated, “Abu Mazen [Abbas], who supports terror, incites murder and promotes boycotts rather than co-existence, should exit the world stage and go home.”

Erdan also urged the Israeli government to apply Israeli law to settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory – a common shorthand for annexation.

“All of a sudden,” the minister told the audience, “their [Palestinians’] rejectionism has led the US to take important steps such as recognising Jerusalem as our capital, moving its embassy and defunding UNRWA.”

“This is the start of a new paradigm, which means that the Palestinians must realize that time is not on their side,” he continued:

To advance this paradigm, we must take the next legal, moral and logical step, which is to apply Israeli law to the Jewish cities and towns in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].

According to Erdan, “Israel desires peace”, but there is a need “to prioritise the welfare and interests of our citizens in every part of the Land of Israel [i.e. in the West Bank].”