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May 30, 2017 9:21 am

Netanyahu: Israel Must Maintain Control Over West Bank in Any Peace Deal With Palestinians

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An Israeli settlement in the West Bank. Photo: Wikimedia Commons. – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday said Israel must maintain full military control over the West Bank in the event of a final peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“The idea that we can give up territory and achieve peace is not right,” Netanyahu told Army Radio, adding, “In order to assure our existence we need to have military and security control over all of the territory west of the Jordan [River].”

Netanyahu’s comments came as politicians within his governing coalition sought clarification on his position regarding a two-state solution, following the prime minister’s statement on Monday that US President Donald Trump was determined to secure a peace deal.

Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s international negotiations representative, last week embarked on a secretive tour of an area in the northern West Bank that was evacuated in 2005 as part of the Israeli government’s unilateral disengagement plan that focused mainly on the Gaza Strip, which Israel withdrew from completely.

Greenblatt’s low-profile tour occurred amid speculation that the Trump administration is weighing the possibility of asking Israel to move some West Bank lands from Israeli-administered Area C to Area B, which falls under Palestinian civil control and joint Israeli-Palestinian security control.

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