Benyamin Netanyhou, the Israeli prime minister has aroused outrage from Arab and Muslim countries by promising to annex a part of the occupied West Bank, in case of victory in the parliamentary elections next Tuesday. A statement condemned also by the European Union which considers that this plan compromises the prospects for a lasting peace. In the Jordan Valley, the region that Benyamin Netanyahu promised to annex, the reactions are fatalistic in the face of this huge electoral promise.
From our correspondent in the Palestinian Territories,
Located east of the West Bank, the Jordan Valley accounts for about one third of this occupied territory. It is a fertile strip of land studded with agricultural plantations. Benyamin Netanyahu is committed to annexing a good part of it with its 8,000 Israelis spread over thirty colonies, illegal under international law, except Jericho, which would then become a true Palestinian enclave. And the Israeli NGO Peace Now does not hesitate to make the comparison with the Bantustans of South Africa at the time of Apartheid
The alarming statement by Netanyahu is provoking very measured reactions from the Palestinian side because it is only an election promise first and foremost. But above all, for the Palestinians, this annexation is already a reality on the ground. For example, the Jordan Valley has been occupied for more than 50 years and nearly 90% of the region is placed in Zone C, that is to say, under Israel's control of the land, so the buildings, roads, natural resources and access to the Dead Sea. Finally, nothing very surprising in the choice of the Jordan Valley; Israel has never hidden its interest in making it a militarized border, because of its strategic location.
" The two-state solution has already been destroyed "
This is yet another blow to the creation of a future Palestinian state because this election promise sounds the death knell of the two-state solution according to Palestinian leaders. A moribund solution because of the acceleration of Israeli colonization, and a solution impossible to save, according to Hanane Ashrawi's own admission of the Palestine Liberation Organization. " I think it's already too late. The two-state solution has already been destroyed, and it is time to reconsider the political situation as a whole and on the ground . "
At the top of the Palestinian Authority, which in fact has no real authority nothing changes: its President Mahmoud Abbas promises that in case of annexation, it will cancel all agreements with Israel, without specifying which. A threat already brandished last July after the destruction of Palestinian homes south of Jerusalem and still not implemented.