Justice Minister: Trump era golden opportunity to impose sovereignty

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked says now is the best time to annex Area C of Judea and Samaria, while Trump is president.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said Wednesday that with President Donald Trump in the White House, “now is the time” to begin applying sovereignty to Area C, which comprises roughly 60 percent of Judea and Samaria, including the Israeli settlements, and is administered by Israel as per the Oslo Accords.

Speaking at the pro-Zionist Im Tirtzu group’s conference in Tel Aviv, Shaked, a lawmaker for the Jewish Home party, touted her party’s insistence on imposing Israel’s formal authority on all of Area C, which is under Israeli civilian and military control. There was never a better opportunity than now to get started, she stressed.

“It’s precisely during the Trump era that there’s an opportunity to act to apply sovereignty in places like Ma’aleh Adumim and Gush Etzion as a start,” she stated. “Jewish Home as a party will continue to push to apply sovereignty. That’s the right solution.”

Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett, who also serves as education minister, began publicizing his idea to annex Area C already five years ago. “The story of establishing a Palestinian state within our country, that story is over,” he said at a conference in 2013, adding that the most pressing issue for Israel today is for its leaders to declare that the land belongs solely to the Jewish state – and to act accordingly.

In an interview with Makor Rishon in June, Shaked explained that she introduces a bill for the nullification of the Disengagement from northern Samaria on the agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on a weekly basis because she believes that “it is the minimum that this government can do.”

According to Shaked, “there will never be a more right-wing coalition than this one, certainly when we have in parallel a convenient administration at the White House.”

Another issue the minister discussed at the conference is one that she is uniquely situated to influence: changing the legal system to better reflect the will of the majority of Israeli citizens.