Netanyahu: We Must Retain West Bank to ‘Assure Our Existence’

The Times of Israel reports: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday said that Israel must maintain its military control over the West Bank in the event of a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“The idea that we can give up territory and achieve peace is not right,” Netanyahu told Army Radio in a pre-Shavuot holiday interview. “In order to assure our existence we need to have military and security control over all of the territory west of the Jordan [River],” he said, reaffirming his commitment to a policy that is rejected by Palestinians, who seek a full Israeli withdrawal from the territory.

In the radio interview, Netanyahu asserted the root of the conflict lies not with Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but rather in Palestinian intransigence regarding recognition of Jewish rights to any part of the land.

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