Israel and Palestine all 'ours' says top Israeli diplomat

Israel and Palestine all 'ours' says top Israeli diplomat
The new deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, quoted the Bible to bolster her argument that the Holy Land belongs to Jews only.
2 min read
Tzipi Hotovely is Israel's deputy foreign minister (AFP)
The whole of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories belong to Jews, Israel's new deputy foreign minister has told her country's diplomats.

Tzipi Hotovely, 36, a member of Binyamin Netanyahu's Likud party, used her inaugral address to Israeli diplomats to say that Israel had tried too hard to appease the world and must stand up for itself.

"We need to return to the basic truth of our rights to this country," she said. "This land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that."

Hotovely, an Orthodox Jew, laced her speech with biblical commentaries in which God promised the land of Israel to Jews. Speaking later in English, she signalled that she would try to rally global recognition for West Bank settlements, which are illegal under international law.

With Netanyahu also serving as acting foreign minister in his new government, Hotovely is currently the country's top full-time diplomat.

Hotovely's comments are the latest in a long-line of controversial statements by Israeli officials, with former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman saying earlier this year that Arab citizens of Israel who are "disloyal" should be beheaded.

Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party that is now in coalition with Likud, also said that there would never be a peace plan with the Palestinians.

"I will do everything in my power to make sure they never get a state," Bennett said.