Middle East Monitor / February 24, 2020
Israel’s Knesset Speaker yesterday vowed that the government will proceed with the annexation of territory in the occupied West Bank, regardless of the election result.
According to pro-settler news outlet Arutz Sheva, Yuli Edelstein made the remarks during the ceremonial inauguration of the expansion of Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron.
Addressing US President Donald Trump’s proposed plan for Israel and the Palestinians, the Knesset Speaker said that political developments would make the 23rd Knesset the “Knesset of sovereignty”.
“I said immediately after the programme was published, and I repeat it [now]: whether this programme will become reality or remain a beautiful and colourful booklet depends solely on us,” Edelstein said.
“Not America, not the Europeans and not the ‘Palestinians’. This will be the Knesset that announces to the world our intentions of extending Israeli sovereignty to Judea and Samaria [the occupied West Bank],” the veteran Likud politician added.
According to Edelstein, the Trump administration’s plan is significant in terms of “what has already been accomplished”.
“It has made the whole world change the terms it uses with regards to Israeli settlement. Not so long ago, a simple equation dominated the political spectrum: concessions equal international recognition,” he told the settlers.
“The great significance of the ‘Deal of the Century’ is that it instils a new concept with novel equations: sovereignty equals recognition, belief equals success,” Edelstein continued.
“The State of Israel today openly announces that it intends to apply sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], and that no disaster will befall us as a result of this decision.”