Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he plans 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 on Tuesday.
A report by AlJazeera News says the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea constitute almost 30 percent of the West Bank. Some 65,000 Palestinians and about 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers live in the area – most of which is under Israeli military control in what is referred to as Area C.
Netanyahu, who is fighting for his political life in a closely contested election, reaffirmed the 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 US peace plan and consultations with President Donald Trump.
There was no immediate comment from Washington.