Likud convenes to urge annexing occupied West Bank to Israel

Israeli ruling Likud party is to convene on Sunday to vote on urging party’s leaders to formally annex occupied West Bank to Israel, allow unlimited construction in illegal Jewish settlements.

A number of party heavyweights have released statements or online videos expressing support for the vote, which will take place at the Avenue Conference Centre, near Ben Gurion Airport, Israeli newspaper Times of Israel said.

They include Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz.

According to Times of Israel, the keynote speaker at the confab will be longtime Netanyahu opponent and former cabinet minister Gideon Sa’ar, also a backer of the resolution.

Likud activists in the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, who gathered over 900 signatures of Central Committee members, called for allowing the resolution to be presented without requiring the consent of party leaders.

The resolution reads: “Fifty years after the liberation of Judea and Samaria [occupied West Bank], and with them Jerusalem, our eternal capital, the Likud Central Committee calls on Likud’s elected leaders to work to allow unhindered construction and to extend Israeli law and sovereignty in all the areas of liberated settlement in Judea and Samaria.”

Extending Israeli law and sovereignty means considering the occupied Palestinian lands as part of Israel, which was built on 78 per cent of Palestine’s area occupied in 1948.

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