Defense Chief Says Israel Will Apply Sovereignty to West Bank

Update: Gantz vows to annex Jordan Valley, 'Hopes Trump releases peace plan soon'

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said Tuesday that Israel would apply sovereignty over the West Bank and the Jordan Valley in response to remarks made by Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh that the PA would act to have the distinction between Area A, B and C in the Palestinian territories annulled.

While touring the Binyamin Regional Council in the West Bank, Bennett visited construction sites of new housing units as well as in the Yeshiva High School in the settlement of Beit El.

"This morning the Palestinian prime minister declared a campaign to seize Area C," Bennett said during the tour. 

The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three parts: Area A, which makes up 18 percent of the West Bank and includes all large Palestinian cities, is under full control of the Palestinian Authority; Area B, which makes up 22 percent, is under civilian control of the PA and Israeli security control; and Area C, which makes up 60 percent, is controlled by Israel and is home to Israeli settlements. 

"We are in the midst of a battle, and they are trying to take our territory. We'll capture and settle throughout the land of Israel, while fending off the illegal Palestinian construction and apply [Israeli] sovereignty [over the West Bank]," Bennett added.

The chief defense also said that "over the past few years we have been struggling to stave off [the Palestinians]. We are approaching a decisive time to apply sovereignty over Area C. This is our mission and it can be done in the coming year. We can break the 52-year-old standstill. We will apply our sovereignty over Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley."