8th June 2016 – For Immediate Release
Yachad, the British Jewish pro-Israel, pro-peace organisation, has condemned Israeli cabinet minister Uri Ariel’s proposal to annex area C of the West Bank and “remove a few thousand” Palestinians who live there. Ariel made the comments in an interview with the Times of Israel. Ariel claimed that “these are areas where there are no Arabs at all”, despite a 2014 UN estimate putting the number at 300,000.
Yachad’s director Hannah Weisfeld said:
“The suggestion by an Israeli cabinet minister that Israel should ‘remove’ hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and annex 60% of the West Bank is politically disastrous and morally repugnant. Transferring 300,000 people and annexing vast swaths of occupied territory are both illegal under international law and an affront to basic Jewish values.
“It is incumbent on both the Israeli government and supporters of Israel around the world to repudiate Uri Ariel’s views. Ariel’s suggested policy is morally wrong, illegal, and – in practical terms – impossible.”
Area C, the 60% of the West Bank that is under Israeli security and civil control, is home to around 300,000 Palestinians and over 350,000 Israeli settlers. Ariel, the agriculture minister, is the leader of Tekuma, a faction within the right-wing, religious Jewish Home party, and a key supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Notes for Editors
- Yachad was founded in 2011 to build support within British Jewry for a two-state solution and an end to the occupation, though education, debate and advocacy, and to galvanise the energy of British Jews behind the steps needed to create peace and long-term security for Israel.