Israeli Right-Wingers Campaign on West Bank Annexation
Three Israeli rightwing parties in Israel are campaigning on a ticket of annexing the occupied West Bank ahead of Israel's elections schedule for January 22, 2012.
The West Bank, which has been occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War, is now home to hundreds of thousands of Israeli settlers, as well as about 1.7 million Palestinians.
Talk of annexing the territory, as Israel did with east Jerusalem - in a move never recognised by the international community - is not new, international news agency report, adding that as rightwing parties battle for the settler vote ahead of the January 22 elections, the idea is being discussed increasingly seriously by mainstream parties.
"We must begin to talk about it because this question will, I hope, be the order of the day for the next government," Netanyahu's information minister Yuli Edelstein is quoted as saying.
"We have no partners on the Palestinian side with whom to make peace, so we must consider an alternative," he added.
Annexation of the entire West Bank is not part of the Likud party platform, but Edelstein's views are shared by a number of the party's electoral list, which skews to the right wing of the party.
Annexation has never been a Likud policy, but is now increasingly mentioned by its representatives, as well as those from the rival national religious Jewish Home party.