39% of Israelis support annexing the West Bank
Israeli illegal settlements [file photo]
A recent survey, conducted by the independent Israeli Rafi Smith Institute, have shown that 39 per cent of Israelis support the annexation of the occupied Palestinian West Bank.
Citing Israeli media sources, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency said that 39 per cent of Israelis support the annexation of the large Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank, with a Palestinian state being established in the remaining areas, including East Jerusalem.
The survey showed that only 30 per cent of Israelis support the establishment of a Palestinian state on Palestinian lands that Israel occupied in 1967.
A number of Israeli MKs and ministers announced they are happy with the findings of the survey. Israeli radio reported MKs planned to propose a bill to the Knesset calling for enforcing Israeli law in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians have been seeking to establish an independent state on Palestinian lands occupied by Israel in 1967.
US Secretary of State John Kerry called on Wednesday for the start of negotiations leading to an implementation of the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with a land swap agreement to also be in place.
Since the victory of US President-elect Donald Trump, many Israeli officials have voiced their demands for the annexation of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. This measure had been rejected by the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama.
The director of mapping at the Arab Studies Association, Khalil Tafakji, told Anadolu that there were 131 illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank with about 420,000 Israeli settlers living in them, and 10 large settlements in East Jerusalem with about 220,000 settlers.
In April 2014, Palestinian-Israeli talks stopped after Israel rejected stopping settlement activity and the release of prisoners who spent decades in Israeli jails.
Earlier this month, the UN Security Council passed a landmark resolution condemning Israel’s continued settlement activity and branding it as illegal.