Netanyahu: I’ll Annex other Vital Areas after Jordan Valley
By Staff, Agencies
“Israeli” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that if reelected he plans to annex additional “vital” parts of the West Bank beyond the Jordan Valley and the major settlement blocs, and do so in coordination with the United States.
Netanyahu, who is campaigning ahead of Tuesday’s election, thus widened his pledge from last week to extend “Israeli” occupation to more than the Jordan Valley – about a quarter of the West Bank – as soon as he puts together a coalition if successful in the elections, and subsequently to annex all West Bank settlements in coordination with the US President Donald Trump Administration.
Speaking to Army Radio, Netanyahu vowed to also apply so-called “Israeli” sovereignty to “vital areas” outside the settlement blocs, but did not elaborate. He also spoke of a phased process of annexations coordinated with the Trump administration.
In the interview, Netanyahu was asked about a map published earlier in the day by right-wing Yamina candidate Naftali Bennett, that Bennett claimed was the long-delayed Trump “deal of the century” scheme for dividing the West Bank between “Israel” and the Palestinians. His party later acknowledged it had “compiled” the map itself based on various reports.
Netanyahu called that map “fake news,” noting that the US administration had made plain that the map was not its own. He said he did not have his own map as he was waiting for the release of the Trump plan after the elections.
“The question of who will ensure the future of Jewish settlement is clear,” Netanyahu said. “Who will be able to negotiate with President Trump? The other [candidates] won’t be able to stand against US pressure,” he said, noting he withstood “immense pressure” from the Clinton and Obama administrations to halt settlement construction.
“This is a historic opportunity, because after the epic holding battle I led against pressures to return to the ’67 lines, I am now turning the direction of our history,” Netanyahu vowed. “Instead of withdrawals, evacuations and concessions, we are now turning toward recognition and rights.”
Netanyahu has had his call to annex the Jordan Valley panned as an election ploy, with critics saying he could have done it at any time in recent years if he really wanted to.
But the Netanyahu said the timing was part of a process.