Livni Threatens to Pull Out of Coalition if Israel Were to Annex West Bank

Housing Minister Uri Ariel said at a Jerusalem Day ceremony there won't be construction freezes in Jerusalem or the West Bank, and that Jerusalem will never be divided.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni in 2013.
Hatnuah party's leader, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2013. Olivier Fitoussi

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni threatened Wednesday to pull her Hatnuah party out of the coalition if Israel were to annex the West Bank, after Economy Minister Naftali Bennett called on the government to apply Israeli law in the territories occupied in 1967.

"There will be no annexation as long as I am in the government," she said at a Bizportal conference on investments in Airport City. "Those who say that the [settlement] blocs are ours anyway and they can be annexed are deceiving everyone."

Livni said the way to keep the settlement blocs was either to reach an agreement with the Palestinians or to have Israel's interests aligned with those of the rest of the world.

"There is a state that is not democratic at all, where the army becomes the sovereign, that isn't looking at what is going on around it," said Livni. "The gap between the way we see ourselves and the way the world sees us creates frustration… We must hurry, because there is a minority that is deciding for us.

Every day that passes is another day in which there is construction in another isolated settlement."

Housing Minister Uri Ariel said at a Jerusalem Day ceremony Tuesday night that there won't be any more freezes on construction in Jerusalem or the West Bank. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the same ceremony that Israel was "dedicated to the construction, development and prosperity of our capital, Jerusalem," which he said would never be divided.