Israel considering annexing West Bank settlements

AFP , Tuesday 29 Mar 2011

Israel threatens to restrict water supplies should Palestine continue on its unilateral path

Palestinian police pray next to Israel's separation barrier in the Aida refugee camp, near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Sunday 27 March 2011. (AP)

An Israeli official says Israel is considering annexing major West Bank settlement blocs if the Palestinians unilaterally seek world recognition of a state.

The official said Tuesday that Israel can respond to unilateral Palestinian action with one-sided acts of its own.

Annexation of settlements is one option. He says others could include restricting water supplies beyond agreed-upon amounts and restricting Palestinian use of Israeli ports for business purposes.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because no final decisions have been made.

With the peace process going nowhere, Palestinian leaders plan on seeking international recognition of a state, with or without an agreement with Israel, at the United Nations in September.

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