Israel’s defense minister Avigdor Lieberman said Monday the US has notified that West Bank annexation would lead to an “immediate crisis” with the United States and the Trump administration.
“I am saying it as clearly as possible: We received a direct message from the United States saying that Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank will lead to a crisis with the new administration,” Lieberman said at the start of parliament’s foreign affairs and defense committee meeting. West Bank is land Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war and continues to occupy.
Lieberman delved into the logistics and political significance of such a decision, saying, “The decision to extend Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank means extending sovereignty over 2.7 million Palestinians, and I’m not even talking about international law and the international political repercussions.
“I am talking about Israeli law which stipulates that they would have to receive Israeli residency, like Palestinians in east Jerusalem. This means that Israel will have to pay them a minimum of NIS 20 billion in social security on the first day.”
Regarding Hamas and Gaza strip Lieberman said, “Once again we have found ourselves in an agonizing state of self-flagellation while facing a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
“I want to emphasize: In 2016, close to 18,000 Gazans received medical treatment in Israel. An average of 800 trucks a day enter through the Kerem Shalom Border Crossing in addition to reconstruction in the strip. Additionally, Israel has evacuated settlements and transferred thousands of Jews to Israeli territory and we have returned to the 1967 lines.
“It is unacceptable that while Hamas spends millions of dollars building offensive tunnels and producing rockets, Israel pays for their water and electricity. We need to separate from the Palestinians, not absorb Palestinians into us.”
But Lieberman rejects the idea. “Imposing Israeli sovereignty on the West Bank would mean Israel would be faced with the financial burden of providing Palestinians with health care and other benefits.”
Lieberman called on the governing coalition to “clarify very clearly, there is no intention to impose Israeli sovereignty.”