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Israeli politicians react warmly to Friedman’s remarks about Judea and Samaria


Politicians in Israel praised US Ambassadors David Friedman’s comments on Israel’s potential annexation of Judea and Samaria.

U.S. Ambassador David Friedman’s remarks to The New York Times published on Sunday that Israel “has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank” elicited a strong positive reaction from Israeli politicians, who saw it as step away from the earlier U.S. position that Judea and Samaria must be reserved for a Palestinian state.
The Likud’s Gilad Erdan, who serves as minister of public security and minister of education, said on Sunday, “The world view of the Trump administration, which was expressed by Ambassador (David) Friedman, is the only one that might bring about a change and make the Palestinians understand that boycotting Israel and the United States, and their support for terror and incitement and will not bring them any achievements.”
Erdan also dismissed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as someone capable of reaching a settlement. “In the era of Abu Mazen [nom de guerre of Abbas] there already won’t be any political negotiations.
“Only if the next leadership of the Palestinians internalizes together with the public in the Authority, that Israel and the world won’t wait for them, perhaps then will grow there a leadership that’s also prepared for Palestinian compromises,” he said. “Expanding Israeli law on the settlements in Judea and Samaria is a step in the right direction that will pass the message and will move peace forward.”
Likud Minister Ze’ev Elkin told Israel Hayom, “There’s a public ripening and even among international bodies, including the U.S., that in the end, Israel intends to extend sovereignty to not insignificant parts of Judea and Samaria, if not the whole area. The ambassador said something obvious in itself on which there’s a wide consensus. In a reality in which 400,000 people live in Judea and Samaria and hundreds of thousands of others in Jerusalem — the Green Line is erased as a concept with political meaning.”
He also said, “Therefore I already said for years and worked for sovereignty, if not in a full extent at least in a gradual way. Anyone who attacks this denies reality.”
Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi also weigned in, saying “The position of the majority of the Israeli society is that any future agreement will be based on having our control over Judea and Samaria unchanged. That’s why there is a lot of wisdom and sense in Friedman’s comments.”
Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen of the Kulanu party tweeted support for Friedman, “Now, after 52 years, the time is ripe to start extending Israeli sovereignty over the settlement blocs, like Jerusalem. Sooner or later other countries will recognize it.”
Yoaz Hendel, a member of the opposition Blue and White party, also praised Friedman’s remarks. “The Trump administration deals with the Israel Palestinian conflict in a sober way. The things Friedman said are in line with the Allon Plan.”
The Allon Plan refers to a plan to annex parts of Judea and Samaria and in its initial draft, also the Gaza Strip, to Israel. It was drawn up by Israeli Minister Yigal Allon shortly after the 1967 Six Day War.