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Notion of Palestinian state over after Trump win: Israeli minister

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Photo by AFP)

Hard-line Israeli politician Naftali Bennett has said that the idea of a Palestinian state is over after Donald Trump's election as the 45th president of the United States.

The education minister, who heads the hard-line Jewish Home party, said on Wednesday, "Trump's victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state."

Bennett, known for his routine expressions of extremist viewpoints, also said, "This is the position of the president-elect ... The era of a Palestinian state is over."

Bennett has a history of making controversial remarks even by the standards of the hawkish Israeli regime itself.

In early October, Bennett said Israelis must "give their lives" to ensure the annexation of the occupied West Bank.

"We have to mark the dream, and the dream is that Judea and Samaria will be part" of Israel, Bennett said on October 6, using an Israeli name for the occupied territory.

Meanwhile, reacting to Trump's win, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, also with the Jewish Home, called on Trump to follow through on his promise to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds. Trump has also pledged to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel's capital.

Premier Netanyahu himself caused controversy when he ruled out a Palestinian state ahead of a 2015 general election, but later backtracked.

A Palestinian man searches through his belongings after his family home was demolished by Israeli workers in the East Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Beit Hanina, near the Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo (background), on October 26, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds, which are regarded by the United Nations and most countries as illegal.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of their future independent state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital. However, the presence and continued expansion of the illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine have dimmed such a prospect.

The occupied territories have been the scene of heightened tensions since August 2015, when Tel Aviv imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Almost 250 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in what is regarded as the third Palestinian Intifada since October 2015.

The Israeli regime continues to carry out attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip from time to time.

Tel Aviv launched its latest war on Gaza in early July 2014. The 50-day military aggression, which ended on August 26, killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians, including 577 children.

Gaza has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in the standards of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty.

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