Lieberman Says He's Ready to Evacuate His Own Settlement

Yisrael Beiteinu leader tells Haaretz he'd leave Nokdim as part of land exchange with PA.

The leader of the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu party told Haaretz on Monday afternoon he is prepared to evacuate his own home in a West Bank settlement as part of a territorial exchange between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Party Chairman Avigdor Lieberman released his platform on Monday and called for areas within the 1967 border populated mostly by Israeli Arabs to be handed over to the PA in exchange for Israel's annexation of predominantly Jewish areas of the West Bank.

Lieberman indicated areas such as Umm al Fahm, an Israeli Arab city in the northern Wadi Ara region.

"The responsibility for territories populated by an Arab majority, such as Umm al Fahm, will be transferred to the Palestinian Authority. In parallel, territories in Judea and Samaria and Jewish settlement strongholds will be officially annexed to the State of Israel," the party platform said.

Lieberman told Haaretz he would stand behind his plan, even if it required him to evacuate his own home in the isolated West Bank settlement of Nokdim.

"If there is a decision and I would have to give up, I will also give up Nokdim," Lieberman said.

The platform also called on the future government to fight crime and presented a plan said to be drawn up by former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. The plan would call for an expansion of the police force by 10,000 officers over the next five years.