Netanyahu says annexed Palestinians will be denied Israeli citizenship
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that Palestinians in areas of the West Bank which Israel is planning to annex will not be granted Israeli citizenship, instead becoming citizens of a new “Palestinian entity”.
In an interview with the right-wing Israeli newspaper Israel HaYom, Netanyahu also said that any future Palestinian entity would not have the characteristics of a state and that only Palestinians would make concessions in any future peace deal.
Approximately 50,000 Palestinians live in the Jordan Valley and other areas of the West Bank which US President Donald Trump’s widely-condemned “Deal of the Century” peace plan gives to Israel. The Trump plan has been criticized for making a viable and sovereign Palestinian state impossible and it has been overwhelmingly rejected by Palestinians.
In his interview Netanyahu said that the Palestinians in areas due will remain under Israeli security control without becoming Israeli citizens.
“They will remain as a Palestinian enclave. There’s no need to annex Jericho. There are one or two clusters. You don’t need to impose sovereignty over them, they will remain Palestinian subjects if you want. But there will be security control over this too.”
Jericho is a Palestinian city in the Jordan Valley which is currently under Palestinian Authority control.
Netanyahu also boasted that only Palestinians would pay the price for the “Deal of the Century” plan, which Israel plans to unilaterally implement with American support.
“All the plans offered to us in the past included renouncing parts of Israel, withdrawing to the 1967 borders and dividing Jerusalem while allowing refugees to enter Israel. This plan offers the opposite. We are not the ones required to give up [territories], the Palestinians are,” he told Israel HaYom.
‘We control security in all areas’
The right-wing prime minister added that he was indifferent to whether any future Palestinian entity would be called a state, openly characterizing it as non-sovereign and under Israeli security control and complaining about criticism from even more extreme Zionists, some of whom have compared him to Hitler for not annexing the whole of the West Bank.
"They [the Palestinians] need to acknowledge that we control security in all areas. If they consent to all this, then they will have an entity of their own that President Trump defines as a state. There are those who claim and – an American statesman told me: 'But Bibi, it won't be a state.' I told him, call it what you want. At the heart of the Trump plan are foundations we have only dreamed about. All the things we are being criticized about from the right – and what am I? These are things for which we fought for many long years and we've finally achieved them. Then they come with the criticism."
Giving up Palestinian rights
Netanyahu added that the Palestinians would have to accept 10 “stringent conditions” which in effect amount to giving up the rights Palestinians have fought for for decades.
"If they see fit to meet and accept about 10 stringent conditions – including Israeli sovereignty west of the Jordan River, preserving a united Jerusalem, refusing to accept refugees, not uprooting Jewish communities [i.e. settlements], and Israeli sovereignty in large swathes of Judea and Samaria [i.e the West Bank], etc. – the [diplomatic] process will move ahead.
The entity that Trump’s “Deal of the Century” has assigned to Palestinians has been compared to apartheid South Africa’s “bantustans” by Arab and international analysts, due to its lack of sovereignty, non-contiguous geography and institutionalization of discrimination on racial lines.
Netanyahu has previously governed Israel in coalition with openly racist parties and has himself been called a “reactionary racist” by former US Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.