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Dispute arises over proposal for Israeli settlers to live under Palestinian rule

English.news.cn   2014-01-27 15:48:28

JERUSALEM, Jan. 27 (Xinhua) -- Israel's Economy Minister attacked a reported official proposal according to which Israeli settlers who would choose to stay in their homes under Palestinian sovereignty would be allowed to do so.

On Sunday night, Israeli media cited foreign reports quoting an official source from the Prime Minister's Office, saying that he "sees no reason not to have a Jewish minority in the Palestinian state, just as there is an Arab minority in the Jewish state," the Ha'aretz daily reported.

An important aspect of the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians is the territories Israel annexed during the 1967 Mideast War, among which the West Bank and east Jerusalem, slated to be part of the future Palestinian state.

Following the report, Naftali Bennett, also leader of the settler-supported Jewish Home nationalistic party, launched a harsh attack against Netanyahu's office late Sunday evening.

"These statements reflect an irrationality of values," the daily quoted Bennet as saying. "We did not return to the land of Israel after two thousand years of longing to live under the government of Mahmoud Abbas," he added.

"Whoever advocates the idea of Jewish life in Israel under Palestinian rule is undermining our ability to sit in Tel Aviv," Bennett said.

It is one of the harshest statements Bennett has unleashed towards Netanyahu in the past year in which the government had been intact.

Bennett had been a thorn in Netanyahu's side as far as the peace talks with the Palestinians are concerned and had repeatedly stated, in opposition to Netanyahu, that he does not support the two-state solution.

Moreover, in the past several months Israel had announced the planned construction of thousands of housing units in the settlements, following rounds of Palestinian prisoners' release, possibly to appease the Jewish Home party who criticized the agreement to release the prisoners and objects to a construction halt in the settlements.

Editor: Shen Qing
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