Israeli minister slams West Bank land appropriation
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 - 01:27
Finance Minister Yair Lapid says Israel's decision to appropriate a massive swath of the West Bank will ''hurt Israel'' and set off ''needless quarrels'' with the international community. Deborah Gembara reports.
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Israel's decision to appropriate this land, nearly 1,000 acres here in the occupied West Bank, isn't sitting well with at least one government official
Finance Minister Yair Lapid questions the timing.
SOUNDBITE: Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid
"We are at the end of a military operation, we face a sensitive international front, and had already experienced difficulty in preserving world support. What was the pressing need, now of all times, to create another crisis with the Americans and the international community?"
While Lapid says he supports settlements in the region, he's concerned about the manner in which the decision was made.
SOUNDBITE: Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid saying:
"This was a fait accompli which was not brought to the security cabinet and which at this time simply does damage to the state of Israel."
But in Jerusalem Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman is defending the government's position.
SOUNDBITE: Israeli Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman saying:
"I think that Gush Etzion reflects the the broadest consensus in Israel and it is clear to everyone that under any (further) agreement Gush Etzion is part of the state of Israel."
Peace Now, a group which opposes settlement building in the West Bank, says the seizure is Israel's largest since the eighties and will serve only to further undermine peace talks with the Palestinians after a brutal, seven week war.
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