Israeli MK: I Will Submit Bill to Annex West Bank if PA Tries Statehood
Yariv Levin of the Likud Party in Israel said yesterday that he has a bill ready for the Knesset that calls for Israel to retain sovereignty over the Biblical areas of Judea and Samaria, what others call the West Bank. Levin, chairman of the Knesset’s House Committee, said that if the Palestinian Authority proceeds with demanding statehood at the United Nations as they plan to do at the end of this month, he will proceed with his bill in January after the Israeli elections:
Regardless of the Palestinian move we should have applied sovereignty long ago, but the unilateral move by the Palestinians is a good time to do so. Our response should not come retroactively. It should come right now. We should prepare a draft decision that adopts Justice Edmund Levy’s report in full, and complete the submission of the bills which call for Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. The bills are ready and can be submitted immediately after the election.
If the Palestinian Authority proceeds with demanding statehood, it would abrogate the Oslo Accords, which stipulated that the Palestinian Authority must negotiate with Israel before it declares a Palestinian state. The Israeli Foreign Ministry has instructed its ambassadors to explain that if the PA goes ahead and abrogates the accords, Israel will announce that it is “canceling them partially or completely.”
Levin said that if the accords are canceled, Israel will have to reenter Area A:
Israel cannot continue to sit back. We need to make clear to the world that we believe in the rightness of our ways. We need to stop the transfer of money to the PA and we need to renew the IDF's operations in Area A. The reality that has been created now is dramatic. The other side made a unilateral move and our response should be adjusted accordingly. If we do not respond it may lead us to a slippery slope.
Environment Minister Gilad Erdan of the Likud agreed, saying that Israel should annex the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria if the PA demands statehood. He bluntly stated that Israel should stop transferring funds to the PA that it collects for them.