File photo of Jewish settlers walking towards a structure that is being used as a synagogue on the Maoz Esther outpost beside the West Bank Jewish settlement of Kochav Hashahar.
Israeli Knesset Speaker Danny Danon is not taking the Palestinian Authority's bid for a U.N. seat sitting down. Speaking to the Israeli news outlet Arutz Sheva on Monday, Danon said that if the Palestinians wish to unilaterally seek statehood, then Israel "must unilaterally annex Judea and Samaria," meaning the occupied West Bank.
"Why do we always need to react to Palestinian initiatives by begging for mercy?" he said to Arutz Sheva. "We need to say clearly that if they want to start a one-sided process, we'll answer them in their own language."
"They want to drag us into responding, but we need to lead," he said, adding that a Palestinian bid for statehood would violate "every PA agreement with Israel."
Danon also claimed that the U.S. Congress would back such a move on Israel's part, and that standing up to any international pressure to back off the Palestinians would make Israel look better.
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Judea and Samaria refers to the two main regions of the West Bank, not including East Jerusalem, that include Israeli settlements. The area is currently under military command by the Israeli Defense Force, and the West Bank and Gaza strip are considered Israeli-occupied territories by the U.N.
Danon is a member of the Likud party, a center-right party headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Likud is known for being staunchly opposed to Palestinian statehood and in support of the Israeli settlements.
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