Liberman: Annexing Judea and Samaria would create financial, diplomatic crisis

Israel’s defense minister said that the annexation of Judea and Samaria would create not only a financial strain, but also a diplomatic crisis with the new US administration. 

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, addressing a Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee meeting on Monday, expressed opposition to the efforts of some other coalition members to incorporate Judea and Samaria into Israel.

Liberman claimed that such a move, suggested a day earlier by Miki Zohar, a Member of Knesset in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, would create a diplomatic crisis for Israel with the rest of the international community.

“Applying sovereignty over Judea and Samaria means accepting an extra 2,700,000 citizens, and that is before I get into international law, the political implications and the international community’s reactions that would not accept the fact that we are not granting them the right to vote,” he said.

Liberman also claimed that if Israel were simply to grant residency status to some 2.7 million additional Palestinians, it would result in a major financial strain.

“We must grant them at least the status of residents, like we did in east Jerusalem,” he continued. “That means Israel will have to pay them from day one, NIS 20 billion, only out of social security.”

Liberman contended that Israel would also face a crisis with the Trump administration if it annexed the region.

“Beyond the financial issue, we received a direct message that applying sovereignty means an immediate crisis with the new [US] administration,” he said. “So whoever wants strife with the US and to spend NIS 20 billion, go ahead.”

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News