Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to impose Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley and across the northern part of the Dead Sea if he resigns from the September 17 election. He made that announcement on Tuesday afternoon.
A week before the election, Netanyahu also says that the peace plan that US President Donald Trump will shortly present is a "historic opportunity" to take action. If Trump tells Netanyahu that he has great "faith in our friendship" and that he wants to act with "maximum coordination" with the United States, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reports.
The Jordan Valley comprises just under a third of the West Bank, but it is unclear exactly how much of the Jordan Valley that Netanyahu really refers to.Warned of Gaza attack
At a campaign meeting shortly after the statement, Netanyahu was alerted to alleged rocket attacks from Gaza and he was abducted by guards, Israeli television showed. At that time, there were no direct reports of any rockets that would have exploded in the city of Ashdod, where the meeting was held. Netanyahu was taken to a protected area, Reuters writes.Not the first time
Two days before the last election, in April, the prime minister said he would impose Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank or parts of it.
- A Palestinian state will threaten our existence and I have resisted enormous pressure for the past eight years, no prime minister has resisted such pressure. We must control our destiny, Netanyahu said then.
Even earlier in September, Netanyahu said, in a speech in the Elkana settlement, that he intends to act to give Israel sovereignty over all settlements on the West Bank."Losing in the long term"
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Ishtayeh warned ahead of Netanyahu's statement on Tuesday.
- If he thinks he will win votes in the short term by annexing settlements, he and Israel will lose in the long term, says Ishtayeh.
Hanan Ashrawi, spokesman for the Palestinian umbrella organization PLO, says that the prime minister has completely changed the playing field.
"He not only destroys the two-state solution, he destroys all chances for peace," she says.