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Israel's Likud demanding West Bank settlement annexation

Source | Xinhuanet
JERUSALEM | 17 May 2011

Israel's Likud party on Monday asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex areas of the West Bank containing Israeli settlements, ahead of a possible United Nations General Assembly resolution in September recognizing a Palestinian state.

The call comes after Likud Knesset member Danny Danon announced findings of a party-sponsored poll that showed more than half of the respondents supporting annexation of West Bank settlement areas, the Ynet news site reported on Monday.

The poll, which was conducted the first week of May among 500 respondents in Israel, revealed that 54.4 of those queried agreed to the annexation of the settlements, "in response to the unilateral formation of a Palestinian state," to 30 percent who disagreed. Around 15 percent said they had no opinion.

The party is trying to exert pressure on Netanyahu not to make any concessions over peace negotiations ahead of his visit to the United States, and his meeting with President Barack Obama, as well as an address before a joint session of Congress.

"Implementing Israeli sovereignty is the only answer to a one- sided declaration from the Palestinian Authority," Danon said during the meeting, and added that the Likud will work during the summer "to pass Israeli sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (the Biblical name for the West Bank), our historic heritage."

The Palestinian National Authority announced recently that they will unilaterally declare Palestinian statehood this September, even without Israel's approval, which prompted a political storm in Israel.


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