U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration warned Israel that there would be an “immediate crisis” between the countries if it annexed the West Bank, the Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Monday.
“We received a direct message… imposing Israeli sovereignty [on the West Bank] would mean an immediate crisis with the new administration,” Lieberman told the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. “The coalition should clearly state that there is no intention to impose [Israeli] sovereignty.”
Lieberman made it clear that the position Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition remained in favor of a two-state solution. His comments come after right-wing and far-right members of the coalition said Trump’s victory in the U.S. presidential election signaled the end of a viable Palestinian state, and, with it, the idea of a two-state solution.
Miki Zohar, member of Netanyahu’s Likud party and member of the coalition, said on Sunday that “the two-state solution is dead.” Netanyahu has distanced himself from such remarks, but has advocated for a Palestinian “state-minus” to members of his party, where Palestinians would not have an entirely sovereign nation in any future agreement.
“I’m getting calls from all of the world wanting to know if this is the position of the coalition,” said Lieberman. “As far of my opinion is concerned, we need to separate from the Palestinians and not to integrate them. The decision to annex Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] would mean the integration of 2.7 million Palestinians in Israel.”
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SOURCE: Newsweek, Jack Moore