Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Vows to Annex West Bank's Jordan Valley if Re-elected
'There is one place where we can apply Israeli sovereignty immediately after the elections,' Netanyahu said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, Israel. (Photo: AP)
Jerusalem: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank if he wins next week's general election.
"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 said in a speech broadcast live on Israeli TV channels.
Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political life in a closely-contested election, reaffirmed a pledge to annex all Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank, but said such a move would not be made before publication of a long-awaited U.S. peace plan and consultations with President Donald Trump. There was no immediate comment from Washington.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, in a statement issued shortly before Netanyahu spoke, amid reports of a possible annexation announcement, said that the Israeli leader is "a prime destroyer of the peace process".
A senior Palestinian official said Tuesday that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pledge to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected destroyed 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 told AFP. "This is a total game changer."
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said the annexation would be "manifestly illegal". He called on the international community to "act now to prevent Netanyahu and his allies from burying any remaining prospects for peace".
The Jordan Valley, which Palestinians seek for the eastern perimeter of a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, stretches from the Dead Sea in the south to the Israeli city of Beit Shean in the north. Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war.
The 2,400 square kilometre (926.65 square mile) valley accounts for nearly 30 percent of the territory in the West Bank. Israel has long said it intends to maintain military control there under any peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox - subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what's happening in the world around you – in real time.
Recommended For You
- Ayushmann Khurrana-Nushrat Bharucha's Dream Girl Song Removed from YouTube Over Copyright Issues
- Watch: Horrifying Video Shows Snake Latching onto Man's Head After He Taunts It
- Happy Daughter’s Day 2019: Meet the Famous Father-Daughter Duo of Bollywood
- Delhi Cab Drivers Carry Condoms in First-Aid Box and it's Not Just for Safe Sex
- Deepak Punia Books Tokyo Olympics Quota After Entering Semis at World Wrestling Championships