(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked stated Saturday night that Bayit Yehudi is intent on annexing Ma’aleh Adumim and expressed home that the Trump administration would support the step.
Speaking to the Hamateh news program on Channel 10, she said annexing the settlement only minutes east of Jerusalem would be the first step to other annexations and could lead to the annexation of all of Area C.
“We want to annex Ma’aleh Adumim. In the distant future, I am in favor of annexing Area C,” the justice minister said.
The 90,000 Palestinians living there would be given full rights like all other Israelis, she said, but Areas A and B should not be annexed for “demographic reasons.”
Bayit Yehudi has already submitted legislation to annex the 37,000-person city, although it has yet to come to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation for approval for passage to the Knesset.
A source within the party told The Jerusalem Post
last week that the bill would be advanced after US President- elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.
The source added that other annexations of settlements within Area C and close to the Green Line could be contemplated after Ma’aleh Adumim is annexed, such as Gush Etzion, the town of Alfei Menashe in western Samaria, and others.
Shaked also repeated Bayit Yehudi’s opposition to the two-state solution, and said the “experiment” with Gaza was reason not to permit the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank.
She said that in the long term, an autonomous Palestinian entity in Areas A and B might be able to form some type of “federation with Jordan and Gaza.”
By contrast, Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi of Likud expressed opposition to annexations earlier on Saturday, and said his party was also opposed to such measures.
Speaking at a Shabbat of Culture event in Haifa, Hanegbi said the unilateral annexation of Judea and Samaria would be “a disaster,” according to the IBA.