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Israel minister calls for mass expulsion of Palestinian-Israelis Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel minister calls for mass expulsion of Palestinian-Israelis

Lieberman has long called for a mass population exchange [Getty]

Date of publication: 13 February, 2017

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Israel's minister of defence has said all Palestinian-Israelis should relocate to the West Bank so as to create an ethnically pure Jewish state.

Israel's minister of defence has said all Palestinian-Israelis should relocate to the West Bank so as to create an ethnically pure Jewish state.

Right-wing Avigdor Lieberman said on Saturday in an interview with Israeli media that wanted to see a mass population exchange between the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel.

"I want a Jewish state. Just as the Palestinians want a homogeneous Palestinian state, without a single Jew in it," Lieberman said, according to local media.

"I want to separate from all the Palestinians who live here inside pre-1967 [Israel]," he said.

"You are Palestinians, you should go to Abu Mazen. You'll be citizens of the Palestinian Authority. He'll pay you unemployment benefits, health benefits, maternity benefits, hanging around benefits," he added, using a nickname for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Palestinian-Israelis make up approximately 20 percent of Israel's population. Israeli authorities have long been accused of discriminating against its Arab population.

Lieberman has long called for a mass exchange of territory and population between the occupied Palestinian territories and Tel Aviv.

In an interview published on Friday in the pro-Netanyahu daily Israel Hayom, US President Donald Trump said settlement growth was not "good for peace".

Netanyahu has announced more than 5,000 settlement homes since Trump's January 20 inauguration, as well as the first new settlement for more than 20 years.

Around 600,000 Israelis currently live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, communities considered illegal by the United Nations and most world powers.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who warmly welcomed Trump's election, will visit the White House Wednesday to test his supportive campaign pledges against emerging policy.

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