Skip to content

Netanyahu West Bank pledge could rule out 'two-state solution' in Middle East

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

4/9/2019 (7 months ago)
Catholic Online (

 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday that he will declare sovereignty over existing settlements in the West Bank if he is reelected prime minister. Parliamentary elections in Israel will take place on Tuesday, April 9.


Catholic Online (
4/9/2019 (7 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Netanyahu, West Bank, Middle East

Jerusalem, (CNA) - This is the first time Netanyahu has publicly backed what many are calling formal annexation of the occupied West Bank. He has been the Israeli prime minister since 2009, and previously held the role from 1996 until 1999. He made the statement on the country's Channel 12 TV, in response to a question about why he had not already annexed the settlements.

Netanyahu said that "We will go to the next phase to extend Israeli sovereignty" in the area, and that he would not differentiate between settlement blocs or isolated settlements.

"From my perspective, any point of settlement is Israeli, and we have [a] responsibility, as the Israeli government. I will not uproot anyone, and I will not transfer sovereignty to the Palestinians," said Netanyahu.

A formal declaration of territorial sovereignty by the Israeli government would likely be seen as a major, if not insuperable obstacle to an eventual "two-state" solution in the ongoing Middle East peace process.  

In 2005, Israeli settlers were forcibly removed by the government from locations in Gaza in a move widely viewed as an overture to further peace negotiations. Following the disengagement, Hamas was voted in as the ruling party of the Palestinian National Authority. The United States considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization.

Israel has occupied the area of the West Bank since the Six-Day War in 1967. Presently, about 400,0000 Israelis and 2.8 million Palestinians live in the West Bank. The settlements range in size from under 100 people to cities of well over 70,000.

Palestinian leaders say the presence of Israelis in the West Bank inhibits the peace process, and render a two-state solution impossible.

The Holy See has long and publicly supported a two-state solution, including a "status quo" policy for the city of Jerusalem. East Jerusalem is considered to be part of the West Bank, and was annexed by Israel in 1967.

In October, 2018, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Holy See representative to the United Nations, underscored this position, calling on leaders to demonstrate wisdom, responsibility, and political will and commit to "preserving dialogue based on good will."

Auxiliary Bishop William Shomali of Jerusalem, patriarchal vicar for Jordan, has also spoken publicly about the need for a two-state solution in the region.

"The two-state solution is accepted by all the world, including the Vatican. It corresponds to the legitimate resolutions passed by the United Nations," Shomali said in January last year.


More Middle East

United Arab Emirates pledges to help rebuild Catholic churches in Mosul Watch

Image of Brother Nicolas Tixier speaks at the signing of an agreement between the UAE and UNESCO

The United Arab Emirates is partnering with UNESCO to rebuild two Catholic churches in Mosul that were destroyed in 2014 by the Islamic ... continue reading

Bishops in Middle East urge prayer for northern Syria Watch

Image of Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al Ayn during the Turkish offensive against Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria Oct. 17 2019 as seen from Turkey.

Bishops in Syria and Iraq have called for worldwide prayer as fighting between Turkish and Kurdish forces further destabilizes northern ... continue reading

Moroccan king pardons woman who procured abortion, those who participated Watch

Image of Dr. Mohammed Jamal Belkeziz leaves the prison in Sale Oct 16 2019. He was pardoned after being sentenced to two years imprisonment for performing an abortion.

Morocco's king pardoned Wednesday a journalist, her fiance, and the medical team who last month were found guilty of procuring and ... continue reading

Syrian Christians face new threat from Turkey, human rights group warns Watch

Image of

Endangered Christian populations in the Middle East face renewed risks as the United States removes troops from Syria, a leading human ... continue reading

How a Palestinian village sheds light on the drama of Christians in the Holy Land Watch

Image of

Jifna is a Palestinian village in the West Bank, just 5 miles north of Ramallah - the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority - and ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.