By AbdelRaouf Arnaout
JERUSALEM (AA) - Israel's Defense Minister Naftali Bennett said the area marked as "C" in the West Bank belongs to Israel.
Area C constitutes about 60% of the West Bank and is under Israel's full control.
"I solemnly declare that Area C belongs to Israel," Bennett said at a conference on settlement construction adding that he has repeatedly called for imposing Israeli sovereignty over this land.
"Israel is fighting a real war on Area C," Bennett added.
"About a month ago, I held a meeting and explained the ways that the State of Israel will do everything possible to ensure that these areas [Area C] will be part of the State of Israel," he said.
Palestinians affirm that Area C is part of the West Bank and that there is no Palestinian state without this region.
Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live on more than 100 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.
* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara.