Israel’s Netanyahu Announces Post-election Plan to Annex West Bank’s Jordan Valley

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. — File photo

Arab League foreign ministers condemned Netanyahu’s plan, saying it would undermine any chance of progress towards Israeli-Palestinian peace.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention on Tuesday to annex the Jordan Valley, a large swathe of the occupied West Bank, if he wins a closely contested election just a week away.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a statement that “all signed agreements with Israel and the obligations resulting from them would end” if Netanyahu went through with the move.

Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war and Palestinians, who signed interim peace deals with Israel in the 1990s that include security cooperation, seek to make the area part of a future state.

Israeli political commentators saw Netanyahu’s declaration, in a speech broadcast live on Israel’s main TV channels, as a bid to siphon support away from far-right rivals who have long advocated annexation of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

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