Published: Tue, September 10, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Netanyahu vows to annex part of West Bank after Israel election

Netanyahu vows to annex part of West Bank after Israel election

World leaders are denouncing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's call to annex large parts of the West Bank in the event he wins the upcoming election.

Netanyahu said he would wait, out of respect for President Donald Trump, to annex the areas of Judea and Samaria in question until after the president presents his peace plan.

"Israel's unprecedented culture of impunity, enabled by worldwide inaction, is the only explanation for Mr. Netanyahu's audacity in using annexation as an election ploy, and asking the Israeli public to facilitate yet another Israeli crime", said Erekat, who lives in the Jordan Valley.

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

Annexing the large part of the West Bank could contravene global law, especially since many Palestinians live there.

Over his past 10 years as prime minister, however, Netanyahu has not taken any concrete steps to implement annexation.

The Israeli military said it was investigating.

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

It did mention that they agreed to the long-awaited goal of recognizing the Jordan Valley as Israeli territory.

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"The residents of the Jordan Valley do not feature in Netanyahu's propaganda", Gantz said in a statement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been whisked away from a campaign rally after air raid sirens sounded. Jordan initially won the land during Israel's 1948 War of Independence, but Israel captured it during the 1967 Six-Day War but never annexed it into the country.

"If I am elected I commit to annex the Jordan Valley".

Netanyahu, who pollsters say is running neck and neck with his main political rival, is trying to draw support from the settler community so that he can pull ahead in an election he cannot afford to lose because of his legal woes.

Shortly after the announcement, a senior Palestinian official said Netanyahu is putting the entire peace process in jeopardy.

Netanyahu billed Tuesday's announcement as "dramatic", but it was essentially a repetition of promises he has made since April, when Israelis went to the polls in the first round election.

He is again facing a hard challenge from ex-military chief Benny Gantz and his centrist Blue and White alliance.

Netanyahu along with his right-wing and religious allies won a majority of seats in April polls, but he failed to form a coalition and opted for an unprecedented second election in five months.

He is also facing a potential indictment for corruption pending a hearing scheduled for early October.

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