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Netanyahu Supports Annexing 19 Illegal Settlements

By Stephen Lendman

Pending Knesset legislation calls for it. During a Tuesday visit to the illegal Maale Adumim settlement close to Jerusalem, Netanyahu blustered:

“I support this law of Greater Jerusalem, which will enable Jerusalem and its communities to develop in many aspects. This is a great and important news.”

“Maale Adumim will always be part of Israel…I am also weighing placing (it) within the boundaries of Greater Jerusalem within the context of the Greater Jerusalem bill.”

The measure seeks to extend greater Jerusalem’s boundaries. If enacted, 19 illegal settlements would be within its municipality, annexing them.

In July 1980, Israel’s Knesset passed the Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel. It’s recognized by the world community as an international city, not Israel’s self-declared capital.

Greater Jerusalem legislation seeks to make the area’s demographic balance more Jewish, decreasing the possibility of East Jerusalem becoming Palestine’s official capital.

Intelligence minister Yisrael Katz and MK Yoav Kisch proposed the legislation, both hardline Likudniks, Kisch falsely claiming their measure isn’t about annexation, saying:

“The difference is clear. This is not annexation or the application of sovereignty, but rather the inclusion of the localities surrounding Jerusalem within its municipal boundaries. From my standpoint, this is the first step toward enacting sovereignty.”

The militantly hardline Yesha Council umbrella group, representing extremist settler interests, is committed to unlimited expansions, wanting Palestinians displaced, Greater Israel exclusively for Jews.

Its spokesman Yigal Dilmoni said “(t)he time has come to impose sovereignty over all Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).”

Greater Jerusalem legislation “start(s) that effort. Maale Adumim and Jerusalem are 10 minutes away from each other, so it’s only natural that they be placed under the same municipal boundaries.”

Greater Jerusalem legislation would let area settlers retain their autonomy, while affording them voting rights in municipal Jerusalem elections.

It would create separate municipalities for around 100,000 Israeli Arab citizens or Jerusalem residents, located on the other side of the Separation Wall - a “no man’s land,” depriving them of municipal services afforded Jews.

Netanyahu vowed to accelerate Maale Adumim development, saying “(w)e will build thousands of housing units here.”

“We will add the necessary industrial areas and the expansion necessary to enable the accelerated development of this place. This place will be part of the state of Israel.”

After the Sukkot, Shmini Atzeret and Simchat Torah Jewish holidays this month, he’ll introduce plans for another 4,000 illegal settlement housing units.

Commenting on the latest round of Hamas/PA reconciliation talks, he roared:

“Whoever wants to make such a reconciliation, our understanding is very clear: Recognize the state of Israel, disband the Hamas military arm, sever the connection with Iran…(T)hese very clear things must be clearly stated.”

Hamas has no intention of disarming, nor will it sever relations with Iran.

Last month, marking 50 years of (illegal) Israeli settlements, Netanyahu vowed they’ll be “no uprooting (them) in the land of Israel” - just expanding them on stolen Palestinian land.

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