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Netanyahu vows to annex West Bank's Jordan Valley if re-elected

A senior Palestinian official has said that Netanyahu’s plan destroys all chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Image: Tsafrir Abayov/PA Images

ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER Benjamin Netanyahu has issued a pledge to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if re-elected on 17 September.

“There is one place where we can apply Israeli sovereignty immediately after the elections,” Netanyahu said in a televised speech.

“If I receive from you, citizens of Israel, a clear mandate to do so…today I announce my intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea.”

The prime minister also reiterated his intention to annex Israeli settlements throughout the West Bank if re-elected in coordination with US President Donald Trump, whose long-awaited peace plan is expected to be unveiled sometime after the vote.

Those moves could effectively kill any remaining hopes for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, long the focus of international diplomacy.

The Jordan Valley accounts for around one-third of the West Bank and Israeli right-wing politicians have long viewed the strategic area as a part of the territory they would never retreat from.

Israeli settlements are located in what is known as Area C of the West Bank, which accounts for some 60% of the territory, including most of the Jordan Valley.

A senior Palestinian official has said that Netanyahu’s plan destroys all chances of Israeli-Palestinian peace.

“He is not only destroying the two-state solution, he is destroying all chances of peace,” senior official Hanan Ashrawi said. “This is a total game changer.”

© AFP 2019 

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