Liberman again proposes that some Israeli-Arab towns be transferred into future Palestinian state for West Bank settlements to be attached to Israel.
The Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman at a ceremony in Jerusalem, July 19, 2016Liberman proposes some Israeli-Arab towns be transferred into future Palestinian state
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman on Monday said that “the model of land for peace has failed.”
Speaking to students at Ariel University, in the West Bank settlement of Ariel, Liberman said that “the model of land for peace has failed, that’s why we speak of land and population swaps.”
“Abbas doesn’t want one Jew in his territory while we are expected to become a bi-national state,” the defense minister continued. “This is why we want population and land swaps.”
In his speech Liberman proposed transferring a number of Arab towns currently in Israel to what would be the future Palestinian state.
“I don’t see a reason why the ‘Triangle’ and Umm al-Fahm need to be a part of Israel,” Liberman said, referring to a group of towns adjacent to the green line in northern Israel.
He added that he is in favor of Israeli sovereignty in Gush Etzion and Maale Edumim, both of which lie inside the West Bank.
Liberman’s comments come three days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday in a Facebook video that he was “perplexed” by the claim that Jewish settlements in the West Bank – part of the territory Palestinians claim as part of a future state – are an obstacle to peace.
Netanyahu accused the Palestinian leadership of demanding a Palestinian state “with one precondition: No Jews.”
Netanyahu said this precondition amounted to ethnic cleansing.
The United Nations and many governments consistently criticize Jewish settlements in the West Bank, arguing that they are an attempt to create “facts on the ground” in order to secure as much territory as possible in a future peace settlement.
Netanyahu’s video was met with controversy, including criticism by the US State Department and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
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