Netanyahu Announces Plan to Annex Large Part of West Bank if He Wins Election Next Week; Palestinian President Blasts Decision

  • On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his decision to annex a large part of the occupied West Bank, the Jordan Valley, if he wins next Tuesday’s election.
  • In a statement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that “all signed agreements with Israel and the obligations resulting from them would end if Netanyahu went through with the move.”
  • In 1967, Israel took control of the West Bank in a war, and “the Palestinians, who signed interim peace deals with Israel in the 1990s that include security cooperation, seek to make the area part of a future state.”
  • Israeli political commentators view “Netanyahu’s declaration, in a speech broadcast live on Israel’s main TV channels, as a bid to siphon support away from far-right rivals who have long advocated annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.”
  • In his speech, Netanyahu said: “Today, I announce my intention, after the establishment of a new government, to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea.”
  • Netanyahu referred to the area as “Israel’s eastern border.”
  • Netanyahu added that he would make the move “immediately after the election if I receive a clear mandate to do so from you, the citizens of Israel.”
  • However, “Arab League foreign ministers condemned Netanyahu’s plan, saying it would undermine any chance of progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
  • In a fight for his political life after “an inconclusive election in April, Netanyahu also reaffirmed a pledge to annex all of the settlements Israel has established in the West Bank.”
  • Netanyahu added that a “broader step could take longer and required maximum coordination with Washington, Israel’s close ally.”
  • Netanyahu said: “Out of respect for President Trump and great faith in our friendship, I will await applying sovereignty until release of the president’s political plan,” “referring to a long-awaited blueprint from Washington for Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Reference Links

  • Reuters: Israel’s Netanyahu announces post-election plan to annex West Bank’s Jordan Valley READ
  • NBC: Netanyahu seeks to annex parts of West Bank ‘in coordination’ with U.S.READ
  • Haaretz: Netanyahu’s Annexation Election Vow Proves Contempt for His Own Voters READ

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