Politics, Middle East

Israel’s Smotrich vows to annex West Bank

'We will apply sovereignty over the West Bank,' Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich says

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 24.06.2024 - Update : 24.06.2024
Israel’s Smotrich vows to annex West Bank


Israel’s far-right Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Monday that he plans to make the occupied West Bank part of Israel.

"We will apply sovereignty over the West Bank, initially through actions on the ground and subsequently through legislation and formal recognition," Smotrich said during a meeting for his Religious Zionist Party.

Smotrich said his life’s work “is to thwart any possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the heart of the country (Israel).”

On Sunday, the extremist minister confirmed what the New York Times leaked of a recorded speech from him on his plans to impose Israel’s control over the West Bank.

Palestinians accuse Israel of exploiting the war in the Gaza Strip to intensify settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Under international law, all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories are considered illegal.

Estimates indicate about 720,000 settlers are living in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar in Ankara

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