Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised the nation 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 on Israeli TV.
About 65,000 Palestinians and about 11,000 illegal Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, which constitute almost 30 percent of the West Bank. The most the area is under Israeli military control in what is referred to as Area C.
“That step could be taken immediately after the election if I receive a clear mandate to do so from you, the citizens of Israel,” said Israeli premier.
Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said “all signed agreements with Israel and the obligations resulting from them would end” if Netanyahu went through with the move.
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the Israeli leader “a prime destroyer of the peace process”.
Saudi Arabia said it considered the declaration a”violation of international law and a “very dangerous escalation against the Palestinians”.