Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday night, September 10, he will extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea in the occupied Palestinian West Bank if reelected.
Speaking to the press a week before the election, Netanyahu also said that the Trump administration’s peace plan, which he said would be released days after the election, will provide an “historic opportunity” for annexing the West Bank and other areas.Netanyahu’s election rivals criticized the provocative announcement. Joint List Chairman, MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash), said the announcement was more than mere propaganda, but was rather part of the right wing’s “vision of apartheid.” Joint List MK Ofer Cassif (Hadash) reacted by saying that “to escape from prison, Netanyahu will try to annex tens of thousands of Palestinians, while depriving them of rights in what will become official apartheid.”
Peace Now, which backs Israeli withdrawal from the occupied West Bank, mocked Netanyahu’s delusional promise to annex the Jordan Valley. “Netanyahu’s delusional post-election annexation is further evidence of the limitless cynicism of a prime minister buried neck deep in serious corruption cases. The peace movement noted that Netanyahu has “opposed annexation for years. This is an election ploy by the head of a caretaker government who, evening after evening puts on ever more delusional demonstrations of his irresponsibility. What won’t the allegedly corrupt suspect from Balfour [the PM’s official Jerusalem residence] do to scrape more votes from [Otzma Yehudit head Itamar] Ben Gvir and [Yamina candidate Betzalel] Smotrich, in a desperate attempt to ensure his immunity in the next Knesset?”
Unilateral annexation, the group adds, “will bring us closer to an apartheid state.” Netanyahu, it says, “is willing to sell out all our futures, and send a message to Israel’s citizens, to the Palestinians, and to the whole world that his political survival means continued bloody conflict and the collapse of our democracy and any chance for peace.”
A senior Palestinian official says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected destroys all chances for Israeli-Palestinian peace. “He is not only destroying the two-state solution, he is destroying all chances of peace,” senior official Hanan Ashrawi told AFP. “This is a total game changer.”
In a tweet, Ashrawi added, “Netanyahu’s cheap pandering to his extremist racist base exposes his real political agenda of superimposing ‘greater Israel’ on all of historical Palestine and carrying out an ethnic cleansing agenda. All bets are off! Dangerous aggression. Perpetual conflict.”