Israeli Settlements Minister Tzipi Hotovely has agreed to be the next ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Speaking on Army Radio, the Likud politician said she had accepted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s offer to replace Mark Regev when his term ends this summer.
“It is undoubtedly one of the most senior positions in the foreign service,” Ms Hotovely said. “Within Europe, Britain is terribly important and very friendly [to Israel], certainly under [Prime Minister Boris] Johnson, that is something we have to leverage and do important diplomatic work on.”
The UK Foreign Office also has to agree to the appointment.
Ms Hotovely has been a vocal advocate of the West Bank annexation plan, and has been highly critical of Palestinians’ claim to the region.
In 2015, as deputy foreign minister, she said: "The land is ours. All of it is ours. We did not come here to apologise for that.”
Similarly, in 2019 she claimed: “For 52 years, we were feeding this myth of occupation. It’s a myth. It’s not true.”
Addressing Israeli-Arab members of the Knesset in 2017, she argued: “You are thieves of history. Your history books are empty and you are trying to co-opt Jewish history and Islamicize it.”
The UK government has voiced opposition to annexation. In January, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the UK was “concerned” about any potentially “damaging” unilateral moves that would be “contrary to international law.”
In response to the announcement, a spokesperson for Yachad said: “We look forward to conveying to Mrs Hotovely the high level of concern in this community about a potential unliteral annexation of West Bank territory, as well as the widespread support for a two-state solution.
“As Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Hotovely will surely recognise that the British government, public and Jewish community are supportive of the Jewish state and have a deep connection to it which is based on shared Jewish and democratic values.”