Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has declared, when reelected, to annex the Jordan Valley in the Occupied West Bank. “Israel will extend its sovereignty to the area on the border with Jordan”, Netanyahu said Tuesday.
Even before the parliamentary election in April, Netanyahu had announced the incorporation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, but this has not been put into practice. Just over a week ago he repeated his announcement. The Prime Minister had in the past for the establishment of a demilitarized Palestinian state pronounced.
Netanyahu had announced the incorporation of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
The Jordan Valley runs along the border with Jordan and accounts for about 30 percent of the West Bank according to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem. According to the Oslo Peace Accords, 90 percent of the Jordan Valley is under Israeli administration.
Around 60,000 Palestinians and 5,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley. Israel had already referred to the strategic importance of the Jordan Valley for its own security in the past.
The Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had already warned Netanyahu, against such a step. “The Palestinian territory is not part of Netanyahu’s election campaign”, Shtayyeh said, according to a statement from his office. “If he believes he will win the elections in the short term by annexing the settlement blocs, he and Israel will be the losers in the long term. Netanyahu is the central saboteur of the peace process”, the statement said.
Around 60,000 Palestinians and 5,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley
Israel will elect a new parliament on 17 September. It marks a close race between Netanyahu’s right-conservative Likud and the opposition Alliance of the Middle, blue-white of ex-military chief Benny Gantz.
Israel conquered the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967 during the Six-Day War. At present more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in around 200 settlements. The Palestinians claim the area as part of a future state of their own.