Bennett will ‘support Trump plan’ if it includes annexing settlements

Yamina party leader says however that party will never support establishment of Palestinian state.

Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett visits new housing projects in Judea and Samaria (photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett visits new housing projects in Judea and Samaria
(photo credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Defense Minister and Yamina leader Naftali Bennett said on Sunday that his party would support the Trump peace plan if it includes terms allowing Israel to annex settlements, but that he would never support the establishment of a Palestinian state.
His comments appear to be somewhat ambiguous, since it is thought that the Trump peace plan will include a form of autonomy for the Palestinians in parts of the West Bank, although the scope of that autonomy is as yet unclear.
“Before us and the Israeli government is a once-in-a-half-century opportunity to apply Israeli sovereignty over half a million Israelis in one week,” said Bennett in reference to proposals made by members of his party to annex the settlements immediately.
Bennett said in answer to the question of whether Yamina will support Trump’s plan, “If you apply sovereignty we will support the plan, if you don’t apply sovereignty we won’t support the plan,” and said that failure to annex the settlements would be “the lost opportunity of the century.”
But Bennett said that under no circumstances will he allow the establishment of a Palestinian state nor will he recognize one.
“We won’t be willing to hand over one inch of [the] land of Israel to the Arabs.”
The defense minister called on Netanyahu to bring a proposed government resolution for annexing settlements to a vote in the cabinet on Sunday, which would authorize executive action to formally apply Israeli law to those areas.
“It’s in the hands of the government of Israel and the prime minister of Israel. We will give him all the backing necessary to apply Israeli law next Sunday in the cabinet meeting,” said Bennett, concluding with quoting the biblical narrative of God promising the Land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants.
Earlier on Sunday, Yamina MK Ofir Sofer made similar comments, telling The Jerusalem Post that the party would reject proposals for a Palestinian state.
“We have opposed and will always oppose a Palestinian state,” he continued, saying that this position was one the most basic principles of the religious-Zionist parties.
Asked whether or not it will be difficult to oppose any demands by Trump for territorial concessions given the favorable policies he has adopted regarding Israel, Sofer said Yamina would still not be able to abandon its principles.
“We have a lot of respect and appreciation for President Trump, but at the end of the day we have to be faithful to the Land of Israel,” he said.
Sofer was evasive when asked if Yamina could join a government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he accepted a peace plan that includes territorial concessions to the Palestinians, saying merely, “If Yamina is in the government then there won’t be concessions.”